BURNABY, BC —The SFU Men’s Hockey team is back in action this Friday as they host the Selkirk College Saints in what promises to be another exciting battle.
These two teams last met in a high-scoring and physical affair just three weeks ago at the Castlegar Recreation Centre. It was a close game all night, SFU pushed the Saints to OT thanks to a two-goal effort by forward Mak Barden. However, with less than a minute remaining in the overtime period, Selkirk rookie forward Brandon Sookro buried the puck past SFU netminder Lyndon Stanwood to seal the win for the home team.
SFU comes into Friday’s game with a lot of confidence, wining their last three consecutive games on home ice.
This is a game many fans will be excited for and SFU head coach Mark Coletta predicts an intense match-up. “(We can) probably expect the same style game (as last time). Lots of offensive guys on both teams, probably some tempo-style hockey that’s going to be good for people watching.”
Selkirk has proven to be a premiere team in the BCIHL. The Saints started the season with a remarkable record of 10-0-0. Coletta is confident heading into Friday’s game and has a clear focus on how to give SFU its best chance to win. “I think anytime you play them you have to make sure you’re pushing the pace. On our team, speed is something that we want to make sure we’re finding ourselves on when we play, especially in our rink. We’re going to use that to the best of our ability.” Coletta continues, “I think we going to have to make sure we’re dictating the pace of play, and our transition game is always going to be something that we can use to our advantage.”
Fans might be excited for this potential playoff preview but Coletta isn’t getting ahead of himself. “We don’t look that far ahead, to be honest, when the last game comes out and we figure out who we play, we’ll start thinking about the match-up.”
Coletta suggests that once the playoffs begin, opponents you thought you knew can become unpredictable. “Playoff hockey is totally different, so speculating is exactly that, you can pretend to know what you know about a team and then the playoffs happen and then things go the other way pretty quick, as evidence of last year.”
Coach Coletta wants to focus on the regular season and on Friday’s game but admits that a first-round match-up could be interesting. “It’s shaping up to potentially be a playoff preview, it’ll be good.”
Heading into Friday’s game, SFU sits just two points back of Selkirk for 2nd place in BCIHL standings. On Saturday night Selkirk will be back in action to take on the league’s top team, Trinity Western University. SFU will hit the road next week in a re-match against the Saints on Saturday February 24th.
BCIHL rules dictate that all 3 games in a series will be played in the higher ranked team’s city when the travel time is more than 5 hours. This means if SFU passes Selkirk College in the standings, SFU would host all 3 playoff games against the Saints.
At Bill Copeland Sports Centre, tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free for children under 6 or for SFU students with valid ID. The games will also be streamed live on HockeyTV. Puck drop is at 7 pm on Friday.