The Simon Fraser University Clan welcomed the University of Victoria Vikes in the regular season finale for both teams. The finale marked two special occasions with SFU donning their annual JDRF jerseys that were auctioned off at the end of game as well as saying goodbye to the graduating seniors. UVic was able to get the better of SFU, however, as the visitors came away from the Bill Copeland Arena with a 5-4 victory.
The atmosphere in the building was electric approaching faceoff and both teams, especially SFU, seemed to feed off the energy. The first period was fast paced, physical, and featured a lot of scoring, as UVic was able to score two goals to SFU’s one. Senior Jono Ceci opened the scoring when he buried a rebound from the slot, but UVic answered back with two goals of their own from Linden Horsewill and Evan Warner. Despite outplaying and outshooting UVic 13-9, SFU found themselves rather unfortunately behind 2-1 heading into the second period.
The fast paced nature of the game continued in the second frame as both teams were flying around all over the ice. SFU tied the game halfway through the period when Jono Ceci scored his second of the night off a wicked shot on the power play. Just 29 seconds later the Clan took the lead as Adam Callegari flew down the left wing, fed a pass across the crease to Trent Murdoch who made a moved and calmly slid the puck past Vikes goaltender Scott Legault. UVic’s Shawn Mueller tied things up soon after Murdoch’s tally and the two teams ended the second tied 3-3.
Despite outshooting UVic to the tune of a gaudy 15-2 in the third, SFU was unable to find a winning goal. The Vikes scored on their two shot attempts of the period when Adam Klein tapped home a goalmouth opportunity and Cameron Rowat muscled the puck past SFU netminder Andrew Parent. Sandwiched in between the two UVic goals was a snipe from Graham Smerek. Legualt then stood on his head for the final two minutes as SFU fired everything and the kitchen sink towards Victoria’s net, but were unable to register an equalizer.
With the loss, SFU’s first round matchup will pit the Burnaby squad against the TWU Spartans. The first game goes Thursday, March 5th with SFU’s lone home game of the series going Friday March 6th. TWU is the first ranked team in the BCIHL and ices the likes of offensive powerhouses Cody Fidgett and PJ Buys as well as arguably the best goalie in the BCIHL in Silas Matthys. Despite the threat TWU poses, SFU will be confident in knowing they have won the last two meetings against the Spartans. The first round matchup promises to be a close and highly entertaining affair.