Saturday night at the Bill Copeland Centre, the Clan served the crowd a now-familiar sight — after netting the first goal of the game, the University of Victoria (UVic) Vikes took control, winning 4–2. But unlike SFU’s last game, where they outshot the competition with a whopping 44 shots, this time they were only able to get 16.
The Clan got off to a good start; after a nice blocker save less than a minute in by SFU goaltender Jordan Liem, forward Matthew Luongo put up the first goal on the scoreboard.
However, just after the 10-minute mark in the first period, UVic defenceman James Tindle buried the puck past Liem — a hard one-timer off a won faceoff. UVic wasn’t done there, as forward Shawn Mueller scored on the powerplay only 38 seconds later to give the Vikes a 2–1 lead.
After some ice issues delayed the start of the second period, SFU seemed to get off on the right foot, controlling the play for a short period of time. But this was short-lived, as the Clan were badly outshot for the rest of the period. The animosity between the two teams grew throughout the game, and the post-whistle scrums became more frequent.
UVic extended their lead to two in the third, as Carsen Willans tipped the point shot past Liem. But the Clan weren’t about to give up, and defenceman Tyler Basham scored from a below the goal line pass from forward Mike Sandor — his third goal in two games — to give SFU team a chance to comeback.
The Clan pulled their goalie with a minute left to try and muster at least a point, but Vike forward Shawn Mueller scored an easy empty netter, putting the final score at 4–2. SFU were badly outshot by the end of game, having only 16 shots on net compared to UVic’s 33.
“I thought we battled hard, and we played well enough I thought to at least earn a point,” head coach Mark Coletta said after the game. “But sometimes when you’re in a rut like we are, it’s going to take a little extra to get out of it.”
The Clan are still in fourth place, and are now 14 points behind Trinity Western and 5 points behind UVic. Coletta knows that his team needs to improve down the final stretch of the season.
“I think the energy level and the work ethic is good, but I think we just need to get some bounces, and we need to find a way to score goals,” he said. “Two goals a game isn’t going to win when you’re giving up four. We’ll fix what we have to fix and hopefully next week start that trend with a win.”
The Clan’s next game is Saturday, January 31st against Eastern Washington at Bill Copeland. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.