Photo Credit: Garrett James
BURNABY, BC — The SFU Men’s Hockey Team claimed first place honours in the final game of the regular season against Trinity Western, in a 3-1 win.
“It’s a little bittersweet, I mean four years here, it goes by a lot quicker than you think you will,” said Sandor. “It hasn’t really sunk in.”
In his last year with the team, Sandor saw something really special develop over the year.
“This year, every time I come to the rink we think we’re going to win, and it’a mindset you just have to have in a game like this,” said the 6’0” forward, who is graduating with a Bachelor’s in economics and a minor in business. “We just have that drive, you see that every shift, guys want it. That’s something special.”
“They’re veteran guys, they play a 200-feet game. When they’re on, they’re really effective,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “Those guys are what championship teams are made of, and tonight they proved that they are worth their weight in gold.”
On the night honouring veterans, it was freshman Daniell Lange who took the lead in scoring.
The two teams traded chances and hits in a hard-nosed first period.
Trinity Western had a chance at drawing first blood when Evan Last was taken down 6:37 in, and awarded a penalty shot. He missed.
The fortunes reversed when Last went to the box for cross checking 2:21 later. Lange capitalized on the opportunity, giving SFU the first lead of the game. Graham Smerek and Jaret Babych were credited with assists.
Despite a 3:47 man-advantage — 13 seconds of 5-on-3 — for SFU, neither team put up a goal in the second period.
Last opened the third with a good opportunity for the Spartans, in all alone in the SFU zone in the first minute, but shot high.
SFU held Trinity Western without a recorded shot for nearly six minutes of the third period.
Lange knocked in the rebound on a play set up by Babych and Nick Coltura for his second of the night.
Trinity Western got on the board on a power play just past the halfway point in the third period.
SFU outshot Trinity Western 31-18. Jordan Liem made 17 saves (.944 SV%).
This marks the first time since the 2011/12 season that SFU has claimed first place. With the first place finish, SFU will face the University of Victoria in the first round of the playoffs starting next weekend.
For Mysiorek and Sandor, it will be a chance to take their first BCIHL Championship in their final year.
“It would mean the world,” explained Sandor. “We came really close a couple of years ago, that’s when my brother [Nick] was here too, we shared a pretty special moment with each other during that playoff run, and I just want to win one for him.”
The BCIHL playoffs — which feature a best-of-three format — will begin on Friday in Victoria. Then, SFU will return home to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre for game two on Saturday and game three at home as well, if necessary.
For the SFU home games, 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 7:30 pm for the Victoria game on Friday, while Saturday’s games will start at 7 pm. If a third game is needed, Sunday’s game will be played at 4:30 pm.
1st Star: SFU #91 Daniell Lange (2G, 0A)
2nd Star: SFU #27 Darnel St Pierre (1G, 0A)
3rd Star: SFU #24 Jaret Babych (0G, 2A)
AROUND THE BCIHL: Eastern Washington closed out their season with a 5-3 win over Selkirk College. The Eagles struck first, but Selkirk scored two consecutive goals to open the second period. Eastern Washington, however, reclaimed the lead with four further goals. Beau Walker scored his first goal since January 28. Austin Brihn made 32 saves on 35 shots (.914 SV%).