MERRITT, BC – SFU scored 3 quick goals in the first period to put the game out of reach for the Okanagan Lakers in an exhibition matchup in Merritt, BC.
SFU defeated the Okanagan Lakers 5-1 at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena for their second matchup of the year.
Cameron Chin, who finished the night with two goals, fired the first one in off the point just 42 seconds into the first period, while Mateo Coltellaro put the game winner in just 3 minutes later.
“It felt a lot better this time,” said Chin, “we were moving the puck more, we were transitioning into their zone a lot better; it just felt a lot smoother for us.”
The Lakers may be an expansion team, but that’s doesn’t mean they’re any easier to play against.
“They come out fast, and they hit a lot,” continued Chin, “we got caught holding the puck a few times, so the more we move it, the less they can hit us.”
It was an eventful first half of the game, with the Okanagan Lakers taking 43 penalty minutes, most coming in the first period as a result of defender Adrian Van de Mosselaer taking a game misconduct (10 minutes) in the last 5 minutes of the period.
Special teams were given a chance to shine with 9 powerplays throughout the night, scoring on 2.
“We played at a pretty fast pace and put pressure on their defence pretty early,” said head coach Mark Coletta, “our powerplay was okay, but our penalty kill was really good; we wanted to play aggressively on the penalty kill and we did all night.”
“I think the bigger thing is that we need to stay composed and not take so many penalties; the guys who aren’t on the penalty kill have to sit for extended times, so we need to no better than to take so many penalties, and more importantly, we need to not be putting guys on the ice in these bad positions.”
Munro Makes History
After facing 13 shots in the first two periods, goaltender Cale Dolan gave the net to Kayla Munro for the third, making her the first female goaltender to ever play in a BCIHL game.
Munro faced 13 shots in the period, stopping all but one off a bad bounce.
“I was just really excited to play,” said Munro, “this was the first game I’ve played in 2 years because of COVID, so I’m just excited to be playing again.”
The fact that she was making history tonight didn’t get in the way of her play, looking confident and quick in the crease for the full 20 minutes.
“I felt really confident out there, and the team played well in front of me so it made it easy for me to do my job.
“I was just thinking of the game at hand and doing my part well; I didn’t worry about what anyone else was doing or anything out of my control.”
Munro’s feat coincidentally comes 29 years after goaltender Manon Rheaume broke the gender barrier in professional hockey, suiting up for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning in an exhibition match.
SFU returns to Burnaby this Friday, October 1st to take on the UVic Vikes in Captains Cup round robin action, and again on Saturday October 2nd against the VIU Mariners.