BURNABY — 12 games. 12 wins.
SFU completed their regular season with three more wins: a 4-1 dominating victory in Victoria on Friday, a 2-0 back-and-forth victory in Nanaimo on Saturday, and a 3-2 last-shot-wins shootout victory at home in Burnaby.
For the 10th, 11th, and 12th time this season, SFU won in every way possible, and for the first time in program history, went undefeated for an entire season.
“It’s a testament to their work,” said coach Mark Coletta when asked about the undefeated season.
“We had injuries in the first semester, a bunch of injuries this semester, guys rotating in and out [of the lineup]…we can enjoy it tonight.”
Friday’s matchup in Victoria saw SFU dominate in almost all areas, limiting the Vikes to just 15 shots all night and drawing 7 penalties. SFU couldn’t capitalize on the powerplay, but special teams still succeeded with forward Mathieu Jallabert scoring the game-winner shorthanded late in the 2nd period.
Saturday night saw SFU take on the VIU Mariners in a first look at how the BCIHL playoffs could go.
The clubs battled hard with no reward on the scoreboard, as neither team would score for the first 50 minutes until defenceman Tristen Cross finally put one past VIU’s Derek Krall at the 9:35 mark in the third period.
SFU’s Michael Lenko would go on to stop all 43 shots faced, posting his first shutout of the year and the only shutout for the club this season.
“They (VIU) play a heavy style of hockey,” said Coletta, “when you don’t play a team like that in a few months, it’s tough.”
The true test came on Monday afternoon for the final game of the weekend, where SFU played their third game in four days.
After a short ceremony to honour the team’s graduates (Michael Lenko, Matt Brown), the team got right to work against the Okanagan Lakers.
SFU had control of the game almost all night, but Okanagan would strike first off of a breakaway to take the 1-0 lead, and again off the rush just a couple of minutes later to double their lead.
If you’ve watched this team, that alone didn’t worry you.
Forward Nick Wicks answered back in the second period with an unobstructed point shot on the powerplay to bring SFU back within one, while Cale Dolan took over the net halfway through the second after Michael Lenko appeared to leave the game in some discomfort.
With 13 minutes remaining in the 3rd period, Wicks would strike again on a one-timer from Captain Mitch Ledyard to tie the game.
Overtime was another back and forth ordeal, with a total of 3 shots being exchanged in the 5 minute period.
Then in the shootout, SFU completed the undefeated season winning 3-2 with goals from Cox and Wicks and handing Okanagan their 4th head-to-head loss of the regular season.
OKL: F Bassi | ❌
SFU: F Cox | ✅
OKL: D Gabruch | ✅
SFU: F Coltellaro | ❌
OKL: F Kriese | ❌
SFU: F Wicks | ✅
With the regular season behind them, this SFU team knows that the focus now shifts to what really counts: playoffs.
The team will have two weeks to prepare for the championship weekend, where they will face the VIU Mariners for Quarter-Final #1 at 7:30 on Friday, March 4th at Bill Copeland Sports Centre.
The season is over now, and according to coach Coletta, the real work starts now.
“Nobody remembers an undefeated season if you don’t win the championship.”