SFU Hockey opened the BCIHL playoffs yesterday with a 3–2 win against the Trinity Western (TWU) Spartans.
TWU finished the season at first place, while the Clan ended up with the fourth and final playoff spot — a role reversal from last year, when the Spartans upset the second-placed Clan in three games. SFU entered the game with a slight edge in the season series, going 4–3 and having won their last two games against the Spartans.
“The key to the victory [was] emotion,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “We played well, we fought hard, we got timely goaltending, and we got a good effort from 20 guys.”
Forward Adam Callegari opened the scoring on an early power play, giving the Clan the early lead 4:42 seconds in.
Trinity Western tied up the game in the second period on a roughing penalty to SFU forward Tyler Mah. As if to cement their status as the enemy, the Spartans blared “Chelsea Dagger” as their goal song.
Jono Ceci deflected a Jared Eng slapshot from the point 10:27 into the second to give the Clan back the lead. When a pick hit a ref’s skate, Trinity Western had a breakaway and very nearly tied the game — however, SFU goalie Jordan Liem made a great save and helped the Clan go into the second intermission up by one.
Callegari scored his second of the night to put the Clan up by two in the beginning of the third period.
The Spartans appeared to have decreased their deficit by one goal when TWU forward Cody Fidgett — who led the league in goals scored — scored on a turnover caused by a bad SFU pass. However, the refs waved it off, much to the chagrin of the hometown crowd.
With 3:21 left, Trinity Western scored to make it 3–2. Despite an initial onslaught after scoring the goal, the Spartans were unable to sustain much pressure with an empty net, and the Clan cruised to win game one of the best of three.
“We’ve got to stay disciplined, stay out of the box — we know that — and we’ve got to play good defensive zone coverage,” commented coach Coletta looking forward to the rest of the series. “We were scrambly at times and we’ve got to keep pucks to the outside. And Fidgett is a threat everytime he touches the puck, so we’ve got to shut him down.”
Should the Clan win at home tonight, there will be no need for a third game, and they will move on to the BCIHL Finals.
Playoff Round 1, Game 1
SFU (PPG) Adam Callegari (1) (Ceci, N Sandor) 15:18
TWU (PPG) Mattias Schmitt (1) (Bakken, Harcoff) 15:13
SFU Jono Ceci (1) (Eng, N Sandor) 10:27
SFU Adam Callegari (2) (Basham, Murdoch) 16:39
TWU Jake Harcoff (1) (Unassisted) 3:21
Jordan Liem (SFU): 34 Saves/ 36 Shots .944 SV%
Silas Matthys (TWU): 33 Saves/ 36 Shots .917 SV%
1st: SFU #36, Adam Callegari 2G, 0A
2nd: SFU #23, Nick Sandor 0G, 2A
3rd: TWU #15 Jake Harcoff 1G, 1A