Back in 2013 captain Tyler Mah led SFU through competitive games against College of the Holy Cross and Sacred Heart University in a two game swing through Massachusetts and Connecticut. Mah, now a VPD officer, led a talented SFU team including D1 transfers Nick Sandor and Jared Eng (Eng would go on to play for Canada’s national inline team as well as two professional seasons in Sweden and China), and all-time BCIHL points leader Jono Ceci. The SFU club would hold their own but eventually fall 7-3 and 3-0 in the two exhibition contests.
Fast-forward 6 years and SFU is returning to the eastern US to take on the same two D1 teams in a pair of much anticipated rematches. Both games will be broadcast through local networks as well as covered through SFU’s twitter account. Here’s how the 3 rosters compare:
SFU: After a falling to eventual champions TWU in the first round, a significant offseason rebuild brings a young but deep SFU lineup into 2019. Jordan Dawson headlines the SFU blueline recruits, having split his junior career between the WHL and BCHL. The former Edmonton Oil King joins defenceman Colten Gerlib on the SFU squad who brings a solid Junior A resume with 70 BCHL games and 50 SJHL games split between Surrey, Merritt and Nipawin. After losing most of last season to injury, physical blueliner Domenic Masellis is back in the lineup. Masellis may have the most Junior A games on his resume of all SFU players with 214 BCHL games.
On forward, expectations are high for Ty Westgard, former Surrey Eagles captain who had a strong final junior season with the Coquitlam Express. Westgard, who at one point was ranked in the top 200 by NHL Central Scouting, settled into the BCHL after a brief WHL career and would amass an impressive 177 pts in 176 BCHL games. Joining Westgard on the recruiting list is Trevor Ayre, who led both the Drayton Valley Thunder and Langley Rivermen in goal scoring in his final two seasons of Junior A. Christian Bosa joins former Nipawin teammate Gerlib and boasts a Junior A resume of 133 games. Returning forwards Cole Plotnikoff (Kindersley Klippers), Mitch Ledyard (North Van Wolfpack), PIJHL MVP Eric Callegari and USport transfer Mac Colasimone form a strong leadership group and have high expectations for the season.
In goal, Selkirk College transfer Patrick Zubick, who won an SIJHL championship and was named a BCIHL all-star, joins the 6’5″ Andrew Henderson and returning goaltender Michael Lenko. The netminders are all vying for starts in the pre-season and are expected to give head coach Mark Coletta 3 strong options heading into the regular season.
The young SFU squad would top TWU 5-3 in their first pre-season matchup (recap), a week after TWU fell to UBC by the same 5-3 score.
Holy Cross: In his junior year, defenceman Frank Boie will face off against former Rivermen teammate Trevor Ayre for the first time. Boie played one season in Langley before joining the Crusaders, putting up 13 points in 54 games. Charlie Barrow returns for his senior year, the former Coquitlam Express defenceman had a standout BCHL season with 37 points in 58 games (one of those games alongside former SFU forward Daniell Lange).
The Crusaders forward group is led by captain Jack Suroweic, a two-way center who played one season in the BCHL with the Coquitlam Express. Joining him is assistant captain Anthony Vincent, who played 79 BCHL games with Chilliwack and also served as their assistant captain. Vincent landed 2nd in points for Holy Cross last season with 21. Expectations might be highest for Grayson Constable, who notched 54 points in 52 games with the Bonnyville Pontiacs last season while serving as their captain. The Lethbridge native also played 93 BCHL games, serving as captain for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks as well. One of the most dangerous freshmen on the roster is Alex Peterson, who put up 64 points in 59 games with the NAHL’s Amarillo Bulls last season.
Freshman goaltender Matt Radomsky played 82 MJHL games, winning a championship as well as being awarded best GAA (2.06) and first-team all star with the Steinbach Pistons. Radomsky joins sophomore goaltender Erik Gordon, former US National U17 member who played one season with the Calgary Canucks (AJHL).
Sacred Heart: The Sacred Heart blueline is packed with veterans heading into 2019/20. University of Vermont transfer Mike Lee is entering his senior year with high expectations after putting up 19 points in 35 games last season. Prior to entering the NCAA, the Connecticut native had a stellar BCHL season with the Penticton Vees alongside NHLers Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro, as well as former SFU forward Mitch Newsome. Colin Bernard is entering his sophomore season, the former Langley Riverman had 4 points last season but has shown playmaking abilities in the BCHL alongside SFU teammates Ayre and Dawson. 6’2″ Danish d-man Jeppe Urup Mogensen will see his first college action against SFU after a strong USHL career and appearances with the Denmark World Junior programs.
On forward Sacred Heart has a young but highly talented lineup. Freshman Braeden Tuck, a native of Osoyoos, is coming off a strong BCHL season with the Trail Smoke Eaters, serving as captain and putting up 43 points in 57 games. Sophomore Austin Magera is looking to build off a strong freshman campaign with 14 goals and 13 assists in 36 games. Ryan Steele is entering his sophomore year as well, the former West Kelowna Warrior was also part of an Alberni Valley Bulldogs team coached by former Selkirk College head coach & SFU general manager Jeff Dubois. Another former Warrior, Jason Cotton had 23 points in 37 games last season with Sacred Heart after transferring from Northeastern University.
In net, freshman Luke Lush may get the nod against SFU. Lush had a 2.52 GAA with the Drayton Valley Thunder and a 2.92 GAA with the Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL). Josh Benson is the most experienced of Sacred Heart’s goaltending trio, earning a 2.54 GAA in 24 games last season. Drennen Atherton played just 1 game last season but was a proven WSHL goaltender two years prior.