At the team’s only pre-season game on home ice, SFU came out of the contest on the wrong side of a 6-1 decision. The Trinity Western Spartans are one of SFU’s biggest rivals, so the exhibition game was a highly spirited affair. When all was said and done, the two teams combined for 81 penalty minutes, and it comes to no surprise that the majority of those penalties were roughing.
The game open with a tightly checked, high paced first period ending in a 0-0 draw. After the first period, SFU had the edge in shots, and the intensity of the game steadily increased. The final 90 seconds of the period were highlighted by Mitch Crisanti’s ferocious play; two menacing hits in the offensive zone, and a last second shot block.
The second period told a much different story. With end to end action for the first five minutes of the period, TWU finally broke the scoreless draw with a wobbly shot from the point that sneaked its way past Jordan Liem. From there, the goals just kept on coming for Trinity. After the score reached 3-0 near the ten minute mark of the second period, Lyndon Stanwood took to the crease for SFU, although this was already the plan for the exhibition game. Although SFU had their chances, including 2 foiled breakaways, the second period ended with TWU in possession of a 5-0 lead.
The tide shifted dramatically in the third period as emotions from both teams began to boil over. SFU broke the shutout bid with a tip in goal by Brandon Tidy with a little over 4 minutes to go, but the goal was overshadowed by the post-whistle scrums, fights, and animosity between the two teams.
SFU Head Coach Mark Coletta was not impressed by the effort put forward by the team tonight: “Obviously it was a very disappointing game, we had a great effort against UBC last week, and had a bad game tonight.” As for the extracurricular activities after the whistle tonight, Coletta wants the team to not let emotions control their gameplay. “We don’t want to see that, it’s not a part of our game. We need the guys to come together and be more cohesive. We can’t let the emotions have that much of an effect.”
Coletta also added that the team is going to need to put this loss behind them as they prepare for their trip to Alaska for exhibition games against NCAA Division 1 Alaska-Fairbanks and Alaska-Anchorage. The lineup for the Alaska games will be closer to the regular season SFU lineup than tonight, as some top players were scratched in lieu of younger players still trying to make their mark on the team. Walk-on forward Tim Chow, formerly of Junior B Grandview, collected the second assist on Brandon Tidy’s third period goal. When asked about Chow, Coletta mentioned that it’s a good boost to his confidence, and for all the new players to the team. Being able to contribute to the scoring when they can, as well as pushing hard on the penalty kill will be an integral part of fitting into SFU’s systems.
The team travels to Alaska on Friday morning, and plays games on Friday and Sunday before returning to Burnaby to prepare for the home opener on October 15th.