The Clan went into Saturday night’s game looking to beat the Trinity Western Spartans — the best team in the league — for a second straight time.
SFU got off to a great start, scoring on their first shot on net. Forward Matthew Luongo quickly buried a wrister from the right wing to give SFU and an early 1–0 lead.
They weren’t done there, with forward Trent Murdoch scoring on the powerplay, quickly turning with the puck in the slot and putting it past the opposing goalie. At this point, SFU had scored two goals on their first three shots. Trinity Western were able to get one back on the powerplay, as captain and defenceman Blair Murphy skated down from the left point and scored.
“Well, it’s always good to get off to a quick start,” said head coach Mike Coletta after the game. “But then there was a lull there in that first period [. . .] I thought we could have been back to square one. But getting that jump, getting that energy, and having [Matthew] Luongo score that goal was really big for us.”
The second period was marked by lots of physical play. Around four minutes in, an SFU player crashed into the crease, sparking a large scrum spurred on by the Trinity Western goalie exaggerating the contact. The scrum resulted in two penalties for SFU and one for TWU, putting the Spartans on the powerplay. In total, the period featured eight total penalties, four for each team.
These two teams have developed a dislike for each other, evidenced in the seven games they’ve played together.
The third started off with equal chances on both sides. SFU had a couple of great opportunities to extend their lead, with forward Jono Ceci hitting the side of the net from in close. He later on scored the 3–1 goal and essentially sealed the game for the Clan.
Forward Graham Smerek, who already had one assist, scored to make it 4–1, turning in the high slot and shooting it high glove side to expand their lead. With the victory, the Clan win the season series against the Spartans 4–3.
The win, coupled with the University of Victoria loss, means the Clan move into third place in the standings, one point ahead of the Vikes. Next week’s game against these two teams will decide who will be third and play Selkirk College and who will be fourth and play Trinity Western.
“I think the game plan right now is to keep momentum going on our side, make sure we’re ready for the playoffs,” said coach Coletta. “Anything could happen in the playoffs, but we want to make sure that were rolling in the right direction and doing all those little things, and having some momentum.”
SFU Matthew Luongo (3) (Zerebecky) 18:29
SFU (PPG) Trent Murdoch (9) (Berry-Lamontagna, Ceci) 13:55
TWU (PPG) Blair Murphy (4) (Harcoff) 9:30
SFU Jono Ceci (10) (Smerek, N Sandor) 7:01
SFU Graham Smerek (4) (Ceci, N Sandor) 6:55
Andrew Parent (SFU): 28 Saves/ 29 Shots .966 SV%
Silas Matthys (TWU): 34 Saves/ 38 Shots .895 SV%
1st: SFU #91, Jono Ceci 1G, 2A
2nd: SFU #89, Graham Smerek 1G, 1A
3rd: SFU #19, Nick Sandor 1G, 0A