Two timely third period goals helped SFU Men’s Hockey overcome a challenging second period which saw them surrender four goals to the visiting University of Victoria Vikes, winning 7-6 in a shootout in front of 450 fans.
“I think the guys showed a lot of character in there,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “We’re a fast team, and in the third period we showed that.”
An effective power play — going three for five (60%) — helped SFU take the initial lead. Jaret Babych knocked in the first of the game a little under a minute into SFU’s power play, while Jono Ceci scored 45 seconds into SFU’s second power play.
However, SFU was not the only team to take advantage of the power play — the Vikes scored the second goal of the game on their first power play to make it 1-1 after SFU’s first goal. UVic forward Cameron Rowat then spoiled a 2-1 SFU lead with 36 seconds left in the first.
However, just 19 seconds into the second, Tyler Basham would put SFU back on top 3-2.
The celebration would be short-lived though, when only 35 seconds later, the Vikes scored again to tie it up. The Vikes continued to make the second period frustrating for the Clan when they scored two more goals over the span of a little over a minute.
Babych would add another power play goal before the period ended, but so did Vikes — UVic went into the second intermission with a 6-4 lead.
SFU came out determined in the third to take back the game. Graham Smerek notched his first goal of the season to bring the Clan with one, and with 7:07 left, Darnell St Pierre would add his second career BCIHL goal to tie the game at one.
Neither team could score for the rest of the third period and in overtime, so the game went to a shootout. Ceci and Basham, who has scored in each of SFU’s three games, scored for SFU. Carsen Willans, who scored a goal and three assists, was UVic’s lone scorer in the shootout, and thus SFU won.
The shootout capped a great game for Ceci, who in addition to scoring in the shootout scored a goal and had three assists. With the four points, Ceci — who has 153 BCIHL points — is now only four points off of the BCIHL all-time scoring record held by Robert Vos, who played for UFV and Trinity Western, which sits at 157 points.
“[Ceci] came back for his fifth year, we wanted him to,” said Coletta. “He’s a class act, he’s going to get that record soon enough and we hope we can give him a BCIHL championship.”
It wasn’t just the team veterans who put up a good game. NCAA transfer Babych had his second two-goal game of the year, while freshman offensive defenceman St Pierre put up his second goal of the year and his career, in his third game played. Goaltender Lyndon Stanwood made his first BCIHL start, making 27 saves.
“The new guys have been very good. I think they’re all hungry, I think they know playing time’s at a premium and they’re all battling to get in the lineup every night. We’ve brought in a lot of good character guys,” said Coletta.
Next weekend, SFU is heads east to take on Eastern Washington University and Selkirk College on Friday and Saturday respectively. Both games start at 7 pm and can be streamed live on FAST Hockey.
The Clan return to the Bill Copeland Saturday, November 7 in a rematch against Eastern Washington. SFU students get in free with student ID. Puck drop is also at 7 pm.