With mounting injuries, SFU Men’s Hockey grinded out a 3-2 shootout win against the Trinity Western Spartans Saturday night for their 10th win in the last 11 games and third straight win, thanks in large part due to Lyndon Stanwood’s 42 save performance (.955 SV%) — a game he didn’t even think he’d play, after Jordan Liem’s 33 save shutout last Saturday.
““It was this morning actually,” Stanwood said, noting that he was told he’d get a start after a pre-game walk. ““There’s a bunch of pressure when your fellow goalie plays extremely well, [. . .] and I just had to pick up where he left off.
“It’s a team effort. If he does well, I’m doing well.”
SFU was missing several key contributors including Liem, Tyler Basham, Jesse Mysiorek, Jaret Babych, Jesse Williamson, and Stephen Ryan. It required first year players like Dustin Cave, Dyllan Quon, and Brendan Lamont step into key roles.
“Solid performances by those guys who have really made a name for themselves over the last month, I’d say. I think it took the new guys a couple of months early in the year to figure out where they fit,” said head coach Mark Coletta.
Brandon Tidy scored his fifth goal in the last five games on the power play in the second period, tying the game up after Trinity Western’s Andrew Wheeler opened the scoring 2:21 into the second. Tidy has relished in a more offensive role, playing on the first line and putting up 17 points on the season so far.
“He’s a great two-way guy, he’s good in our own zone, he’s great in the offensive zone, he plays penalty kill, he plays power play — he’s a utility guy,” said Coletta. “We’ve had him play D in Eastern Washington when we lost two d-men, so he’s just doing everything simple and he’s effective at doing it.”
Lamont gave SFU a 2-1 lead with his fifth goal of the year with 4:32 left in the second, with assists from Darnel St Pierre and Graham Smerek.
The Spartans would tie the game exactly five minutes into the third period on the power play, breaking a streak of 13 straight penalties killed for the Clan.
The game would need overtime and a shootout, where Lamont was the only goal scorer, as the second shooter. Jono Ceci hit the crossbar and the first attempt, and Stanwood made all three saves.
The night featured a particularly physical edge, with Cave and St Pierre responding after a headshot to Mitch Crisanti. Between both teams, four 10-minute misconducts were served.
“Anytime you play three games in a row against the same team, it’s going to get chippy,” said Coletta. “That’s just a product of three games in a row, late in the regular season, both teams banged up with injuries. Boys will be boys, there’s some stuff that we don’t like that they do, and they don’t like what we do. I think it’s just hockey — a part of the game.”
Perhaps it will serve as a preview of SFU’s next three games, playing against Selkirk College, who plays with a physical edge, with first place in the BCIHL on the line (and home ice advantage in the BCIHL playoffs). SFU has a two point lead, but Selkirk has a game in hand.
“Home ice advantage is huge when you play two out of three in your home rink, especially with our team’s speed and way we play at home. I think it’s a benefit for us and that’s our goal, and that’s the only way we’re thinking right now,” explained Coletta.
This weekend, SFU travels to Castlegar to face Selkirk in a back-to-back Friday and Saturday, before returning to Bill Copeland the following Saturday to face Selkirk once again. SFU has won the last two straight against Selkirk including an 8-2 victory on December 5, but fell 5-0 on Halloween, and were swept in the BCIHL finals last season by Selkirk, who earned their third consecutive BCIHL title.
“The key up there is to just make sure you’re as physical as they are and don’t get consumed by the energy and the way they play in their rink — it’s a smaller rink, lower ceiling, they play a big style and we got to match that,” said Coletta. “If we can do that, we can be successful, if we start running around and playing timid, they’re going to have their way with us, so we’ve got to really prepare this week for the game up there.”
Both games start at 7 pm and can be streamed live on FAST Hockey.