LANGLEY, BC — Without key forwards Brandon Tidy and Jaret Babych, and down two defenceman for much of the third period, the SFU Men’s Hockey Team dropped a tough 4-3 loss to the Trinity Western Spartans, after taking a lead into the third period.
“In the third, it was a matter of fatigue,” admits Brendan Lamont. “But they were over us all game, and it kind of felt like we were just chasing, and it caught up to us. We just didn’t have the battle back.”
The Spartans had the only two goals of the third period, with Jacob Mills scoring the tying goal shortly after the period started, while Brayden Brown — who assisted on Mills’ goal, and put up two goals and assist — scored the gamewinner with 3:27 from a feed from Evan Last.
“The last goal, the gamewinner, I think most of our guys were just fixated on the puck, not recognizing there’s a guy behind them, and Last made a nice pass, it fell to the guy in front, and they buried it. We’ve got to do a better job in our d-zone, that’s for sure,” said head coach Mark Coletta.
In a chippy second period that saw 47 penalty minutes dished out between the teams, defenceman Jayden Piattelli received a game misconduct for a check to the head, while five. minutes into the third, SFU was down another defenceman, when Darnel St Pierre received a 10-minute misconduct.
Before the tough finish, SFU had recovered from a slow start.
Trinity Western had struck first blood 1:46 into the game, with Florian Niedermaier taking advantage of a lucky bounce to put the Spartans up 1-0.
One positive for SFU was the power play. While they’ve had struggles this year on the man advantage, the Clan scored two of their markers on the man advantage, going two for seven (28.6%).
Brown’s goal nearly three minutes into the second frame gave the Spartans the lead again, but Mak Barden answered back a little over two minutes later with a goal on the power play to tie it up once again. Eric Callegari had the helper.
After SFU killed a five minute penalty, Lange gave SFU the lead on a breakaway goal fed by Mac Colasimone. The lead lasted 8:59.
The shots were tied 26-26, with Lyndon Stanwood making 22 saves (.846 SV%).
It was a missed opportunity for SFU, as they would have taken second place with a win. Instead, Trinity Western now has a four point gap ahead of SFU. SFU still, however, has two games in hand.
The Clan will look to rebound at home Saturday against Selkirk College, who are undefeated in 10 games played on the season. SFU played them in the season opener, and had scored the opening three goals, but allowed six straight to fall 6-3.
“We’ll go for a light skate [today], our guys are tired, we obviously have a couple of key injuries with Babych and Tidy out, so a lot of guys played some extra minutes, but I think the key to Selkirk is that we have to be moving our feet,” said Coletta. “I don’t think we had the best start tonight, and I don’t think our feet were moving until halfway through the game, then obviously you get tired, because you’re playing a lot.”
Selkirk are particularly dangerous on the power play, with a league leading 18 goals — 10 more than other team. They are led by star forward Dallas Calvin, who leads the league with 24 points in 10 games.
“With Selkirk, we have to stop the power play, we’ll have to regroup after this one and work on our penalty kill,” said Lamont. “They always play a good system, they play a team game, and they capitalize on the power play.”
The game will also mark the annual “My First Hockey Game Night.” We’ll be welcoming international students, and new Canadians to experience their first ever ice hockey game in person The rules of hockey will be available in 8 languages in the lobby, and there will be special activities to make the night a memorable one.
At the 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 game will also be streamed live on HockeyTV. Puck drop is at 7 pm.
1st Star: TWU #15 Brayden Brown (2G, 1A, GWG)
2nd Star: TWU #61 Jacob Mills (1G, 1A)
3rd Star: SFU #91 Daniell Lange (1G, 1A)
AROUND THE BCIHL: Ahead of Saturday’s matchup against SFU, Selkirk College takes on Trinity Western tonight at the Langley Events Centre in a battle of first and second place. Puck drop at 7 pm . . . UVic and VIU face off tonight in a battle for the fourth place. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm in Victoria.