Despite scoring the first goal and out shooting the Spartans 29-24, the SFU Men’s Hockey team fell 3-1 in their second preseason game against the Trinity Western Spartans. It was the Clan’s first game back on home ice.
“We had a lot of new guys play tonight, [to] see what they could do,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “Some guys were good, some guys were average, so we have some work to do and some evaluations to do as a coaching staff.”
Rookie forward Jaret Babych, son of legendary Canuck defenceman Dave Babych and a product of the Chilliwack Chiefs BCHL franchise, scored the first goal of the night a little over four minutes into the game. Babych transferred to SFU from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, an NCAA institution, where he notched nine goals and 14 points in 21 games.
However, a little under three minutes later, TWU forward Dawson Sawatzky tied the game up.
Neither team would score for the rest of the second period, thanks in part due to the play of Clan goaltender Dominic Stadnyk, who helped prevent the Spartans from capitalizing on the power play. SFU led the shot count 10-6.
TWU would take the lead, however, early in the second period, with a power play goal. SFU, despite key offensive chances including a waved off goal that would have tied the game, did not manage another goal. The Spartans would add a third goal late in the third to wrap up the game.
Stadnyk and Andrew Stanwood split the game in net, switching off in the middle of the game as it was a preseason game. Stadnyk saved eight out of 10 shots, while Stanwood let in just one goal out of 19 shots, with a save percentage of .947.
“I think a lot of guys might be a little bit nervous, they understand they [need to] fight for positions [on the team],” Coletta said. “We have some skilled guys, so they’ll figure it out.”
SFU will face Trinity Western again next week on Thursday at the Langley Event Centre, looking for their first preseason win. Last season, SFU went 4-3 against the Spartans in the BCIHL regular season, and swept Trinity Western in the first round of the playoffs, upsetting the first placed team. Puck drop is at 7 pm.