Newly minted captain and jack of all trades Brandon Tidy scored the gamewinner against Eastern Washington to start the SFU Men’s Hockey Team with a perfect record in their season opener. The Clan’s second goal of the night would be all they needed for the win, but one more was potted for the 3-1 victory in Cheney, WA.
With upper body injuries to sophomore defencemen Robson Cramer and Darnel St Pierre, Tidy — who normally plays as a forward — had to play on the blue line, where his shot from the point 2:05 into the third period won the game.
“Some injuries, [so] Tidy had to drop back and play D — he’s no stranger back there,” said head coach Mark Coletta.
“He’s our captain for a reason,” he explained. “When we ask him to do something, whether it’s play D or play forward, he says, ‘yes coach,’ and is up to the challenge.”
NCAA Division I transfer Scott Patterson opened the game’s scoring for SFU on the power play with 1:46 left in the first period. Brendan Lamont and Rob Iszak collected assists on the play. SFU went two for seven on the power play (28.6%).
Patterson would finish with two points on the night.
“Great game by Scotty, he did well both ends of the ice, all 200 ft. He brings us some offensive abilities obviously — we know that — but he does some good things without the puck in our own zone,” said Coletta of the Clan’s new forward.
Eastern Washington’s lone goal came late in the second period and served to tie up the game.
SFU scored twice in the third to seal the victory. Mitch Crisanti, from Patterson and Adam Callegari, gave the Clan a two goal lead with a power play goal a little over halfway through the third.
Defenceman Dustin Cave and forward Graham Smerek finished with a point each, assisting on Tidy’s goal.
SFU outshot Eastern Washington 57-35. Goaltender Jordan Liem was solid in net, making 34 saves on 35 shots (.971 SV%).
“Eastern Washington definitely upped their recruiting, and played very well,” said Coletta. “It’s a very different team than in years past, so they were up to the challenge, and our guys were as well so it was a good battle, right from puck drop right to the end.”
Playing a back-to-back on the road, the Clan head to Castlegar to take on Selkirk College tonight to try and keep their season perfect. Last season, SFU went 3-3 against the defending BCIHL champions, but were 1-2 in Castlegar.
“Energy, energy, energy” said Coletta on the key to winning tonight. “Our feet have got to keep moving, we’re a fast team. We’ve got a lot of speed and we’ve got to able to utilize that against teams in our league. We’ve got these players that are really crafty, and those crafty players have to learn to play with a little grit, so speed and grit.”
Puck drop is at 7 pm and will be streamed through FASTHockey. Follow @SFUHockey for live updates.
AROUND THE BCIHL: The University of Victoria Vikes edged Trinity Western 4-3 in Victoria, with Wolfgang Schoenefuhs scoring with just 1:15 left to avoid overtime. Trinity Western outshot UVic 35-24, but Scott Legault made 32 saves (.914 SV%) to lead them to victory. SFU and UVic now share first place after night one of the BCIHL regular season.