Photo Credit: Garrett James
BURNABY, BC — The University of Victoria Vikes had the first goal, but the SFU Men’s Hockey Team scored six unanswered goals after, leading to a 9-3 victory over their Island rivals.
UVic’s Liam Shaw opened the scoring just after the three minute mark in the first period, but 2:16 later, Brandon Tidy tied it up with helpers from Mitch Crisanti and Tyler Basham.
“It was just the mentality of the guys to come in and have a good bounceback shift right away,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “That’s cliche, but that’s the mental part of the game to just take a deep breath and when we gave up a goal the first shift after that’s really important, and they did a good job.”
By the end four goals were scored in the first period by the Clan, enough to win the game. Crisanti added one — breaking a three game goal drought — and Daniell Lange put up two goals, marking the third consecutive game he has scored, and has put up two goals in two of the last three.
Zack Klebaum, with his first BCIHL goal, and Basham continued the scoring in the second period, with Basham continuing a four game scoring streak.
For UVic, Wolfgang Schoenefuhs put up two goals, but it was not enough. The Clan added three more in the third, with Basham and Crisanti putting up their second of the night, while Robert Izsak put one in, to have goals in back-to-back nights.
In total, 12 SFU players were credited with points, with Jesse Mysiorek, Graham Smerek, Tim Chow, Brendan Lamont, Mak Barden, and Darnel St Pierre adding assists. Crisanti led the way in points with five, while Basham and St Pierre had three.
“It’s indicative of how we want to play — that fast, tenacious, in your face [play],” said Coletta. “We’re trying to preach that it’s okay to get up with the play, as long as we’re in control, so winning races to loose pucks, when you’re first to loose pucks alleviates a lot of problems when you’re feisty like that.
“It’s a mindset. We’ve had a lot of good things happen so far this semester, but the mindset’s got to be consistency and if you can do that all the time and play like that for 60 minutes.”
While a 9-3 result sounds like an easy win, key defensive plays and goaltending by Jordan Liem early on put SFU in a position to build a lead.
“Jordan had 29 shots,” said Tidy, whose defensive play early on prevented UVic from building on their 1-0 lead. “He played really well, and it could’ve been a lot different if he didn’t play so well.”
SFU outshot the Vikes 41-29. After going scoreless on the power play the night before, The Clan went two for four with the extra man. With his two goals tonight, Crisanti maintained his team lead in goals with nine, while Lange is just behind him with eight.
With the win SFU stays in first place with a 10-2-1 record and 21 points, just one point ahead of Trinity Western.
“First place in this league is of the utmost importance, you don’t want to go on the road in the playoffs, there’s two series of best of threes and if you can get home ice, it’s [important],” said Coletta.
SFU won’t play again until January 13 in a back-to-back on the road against Selkirk College, and won’t play a home game until January 21. The team will skate this week, but then won’t practice until the 10 day lead up to the Selkirk game.
“It will be three and a half [to] four weeks until we get back on the ice, five weeks until we play,” said Coletta. “We’ve got to be prepared.”
Coletta had a few keys for the team to keep up the early season momentum, having only lost three times — including an overtime loss — in 13 games.
“We’re going to be healthy, so we’ll get some guys back in the lineup, but at the same time, it’s [about] competition for spots in the lineup every night and team speed,” he explained. “There’s a fine line between being physical and having to make those big hits, but if you’re fast and winning battles to those loose pucks and you’re there first, there’s no reason to do that, and tonight was a case of that.”
From SFU Men’s Hockey, we wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year. Thank you for all of your support year round.
1st Star: SFU #91 Daniell Lange (2G, 0A)
2nd Star: SFU # 89 Mitch Crisanti (2G, 3A)
3rd Star: SFU #53 Brandon Tidy (1G, 0A)
AROUND THE BCIHL: Trinity Western beat Eastern Washington 1-0 in Cheney, WA to stay just one point back from SFU. Jarrett Fontaine scored the gamewinner, and leads the BCIHL in goals with 12 (and sits second in the BCIHL points race, second to fellow Trinity Western freshman Evan Last. Freshman goalie Lucas Mills put up his second shutout of the season, making 35 saves.