In a close game between crosstown rivals, the SFU Men’s Hockey Team were edged 3-1 by the UBC Thunderbirds at the Father Bauer Arena at the UBC campus on Sautrday.
“Anytime you lose it’s disappointing, we know that, we take that to heart,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “[But] the effort level and the compete level is what we’re looking for. It’s the first game of the year [. . . and] I’m happy with the way they played.”
The two teams play in separate leagues — SFU in the BCIHL and UBC in the CIS. UBC’s roster consists of many ex-WHLers including Vancouver Giants alumnus Carter Popoff, who is credited with UBC’s third goal.
“I thought it was a good game by everyone [on the team],” Coletta continued.
SFU began the game with the upper hand, creating chances in the offensive zone and drawing penalties. On the first of two power plays in the first period, Scott Patterson, an NCAA Division I transfer playing his first year with the Clan, opened the scoring by deflecting a shot by Brandon Tidy. Freshman defenceman Jayden Piattelli also registered a point on the play.
UBC would tie it with a little over three minutes left in the period on a 5-on-3 power play.
The Clan continued to control much of the pace of play into the second period, often outshooting their Point Grey rivals. However, the Thunderbirds scored two goals in the last five minutes of the second period, which would end up sealing the game.
Despite being an exhibition game for two teams in different leagues, there was an obvious passion in the play between two schools only 25 kilometres apart, and things got heated between the two teams between whistles.
“It’s an inherent rivalry — SFU, UBC — and UBC’s known as one of the best schools in Canada,” said Coletta. “So we wanted to make sure we weren’t giving anything up.”
Goalies Lyndon Stanwood and Jordan Liem split the game, with Stanwood starting the game and Liem coming in midway through the second period. Stanwood saved 12 of 13 shots (.923 SV%), while Liem made 14 saves on 16 shots (.875 SV%). SFU put 28 shots to UBC’s 29.
“It’s a process, so we want to have another good couple of weeks of practice and make sure our guys are in the gym, training hard,” reflected Coletta on the preparation of the team ahead of regular season. “We want to make sure we’re getting better every week.”
The Clan will play their lone preseason game on home ice Saturday, September 24 against Trinity Western University in a rematch of the 2016 BCIHL playoffs. Puck drop at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre at 7 pm.