SFU hockey fall to first place Spartans on the road

Though they scored on their first power play, the Clan were largely ineffective with an extra man, going one for seven (14.3 per cent).

The SFU’s men’s hockey team scored the first goal in their Thursday night game against the Trinity Western Spartans at the Langley Event Center, but the game quickly went downhill from there.

Clan defenceman Matthew Berry-Lamontagna opened up the scoring on the power play with a shot from the point at 5:25 minutes in.

SFU began playing a strong game, maintaining possession of the puck. However, once the Clan turned the puck over, Trinity Western were able to convert the turnovers into solid offensive opportunities — and goals.

The first period for the Spartans came on a breakaway. Trinity Western forward PJ Buys drove the puck in to tie the game.

However, this tie would quickly turn into a lead for Trinity Western. About two minutes later, forward James Russell put the Spartans up 2–1, and just over a minute later, BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) leading scorer Cody Fidgett solidified Trinity Western’s lead with his 19th goal of the season.

As a result, Clan starting goalie Jordan Liem was pulled with less than a period of play, in favour of backup Andrew Parent. Initially, the goaltender was successful, as SFU point leader Nick Sandor scored to put the Clan within one — a score that would hold until the second period.

However, just a little over three minutes in, Trinity Western scored their fourth of the game; this proved to be the final nail in SFU’s coffin. Although the Clan dominated much of the first half, the Spartans controlled much of the second period.

Trinity Western would add one more in the period to take a commanding 5–2 lead. Having made only two saves on four shots, Latimer was chased out of the net, and Liem made his return to the crease.

What followed was a relatively low-key third period. The Spartans were content to clamp down on the Clan’s offensive chances and protect their lead. Tempers flared over the course of the game, and the after-whistle activities became more heated. This culminated in 10 minute game misconducts for SFU forward Pavlo Zerebecky and Spartan defenceman Deryk Kirchner.

As a final kick in the teeth to the Clan, Trinity Western scored a sixth and final goal with only 1:34 left in the game.

Though they lost 6–2, the Clan outshot the Spartans 37–26. The high shot count emphasized SFU’s inability to finish — though their cycle game was in fine form, they had a hard time getting quality shots to the net and putting the puck in. Although they scored on their first power play, the Clan were largely ineffective with an extra man, going one for seven (14.3 per cent).

SFU will get the chance to avenge their loss next Thursday, when they return to the Langley Event Center to once again face the Spartans. They will be looking to give Trinity Western their first loss since November 29 (The Spartans last loss was in a 5–2 shootout to SFU). With this victory — and the Eastern Washington loss — the Spartans clinched a spot in the BCIHL playoffs.