SFU splits games at GNS

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SFU hosts OU and ASU at 2012 Great Northwest Showcase

By Bryan Scott
Photo by Vaikunthe Banerjee

As a nice holiday gift, there was some university hockey action over the winter break. The 2012 Great Northwest Showcase (GNS) brought the Arizona State Sun Devils, the University of Oklahoma Sooners, the University of
British Columbia Thunderbirds and Simon Fraser’s men’s hockey team to Bill Copeland arena in Burnaby. Each American team played each Canadian once for the two day event.

SFU took on Oklahoma, after UBC handled Arizona State 8–2 in the first game. The first period was exciting. SFU goalie Evan Kurylo was impressive early on, keeping the game scoreless with back-to back saves. Jonathan Ceci got SFU on the board when he buried a rebound from a Ben Van Lare point shot. They picked up their play further as the period continued, when two Sooners giveaways led to SFU breakaways. But Sooners goalie Colin Fernandes was there to shut the door. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the period, Colton Graf got the puck near his own blue line, dangled a Sooner defenseman, and fired a bullet top shelf in the far side of the net.

The Sooners outshot SFU 17–15 in the period but trailed 2–0. SFU tried to pad their lead early in the second, but Fernandes was able to stop a one-timer attempt by Brenden Silvester and block the ensuing rebound. Later in the period, SFU finally added another goal when Tony Oak took a pass from Ceci and broke into the zone and towards the corner. He found Tadz Brown out front who slipped it passed Fernandes for the 3–0 lead.

The third period was the Evan Kurylo show. He was phenomenal in the final frame, making save after save on his way to a 50-save shutout. With two minutes left, he absolutely robbed a Sooners player who fired from point blank in front of the net to conserve the goose egg for his squad. Silvester got his revenge from earlier scoring in the third to make the final 4–0 for SFU. In a predictable manner, Kurylo was awarded the player of the game for his effort.

The next day saw UBC defeat Oklahoma 4–3 in overtime. SFU could not complete the Canadian sweep as they fell to the Sun Devils 5–3. Ceci led the tournament in points with two goals and four assists, and Van Lare was tied for second with four assists. SFU is currently in second place in the British Colombia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) with a record of 8–1. They continued their season last weekend against the University of Victoria and Thompson Rivers University. Results can be found at www.sfuhockey.com