A total of 27–3 looks like a football or basketball score — certainly not a hockey one. But that’s exactly how much the SFU hockey team has outscored the Eastern Washington Eagles in their past three games against them. After 10–1 drubbing on October 22, the Clan added 11 more this Saturday and six on Sunday, taking four out of a possible four points and catapulting to the top of the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) standings, for the time being.
“Anytime you get two wins it’s always a success, and getting 17 goals in two games is pretty good too,” head coach Mark Coletta told The Peak. “Obviously Eastern Washington is banged up, and four of their top players are out. They battled hard, but our depth is definitely deep this year and our guys really played well this weekend and knew what was at stake.”
“I think this year we’ve got a well-balanced attack: all four of our lines can score.”
The first game was played on Saturday and SFU came roaring out, scoring 25 seconds in and never looking back. They had four in the first, three in the second, and another four in the third to make the final score 11–1. It was a score that Coletta had not experienced “since the first couple of years when I first started coaching with SFU.
“I think it was just due to a lot of our guys being hungry and wanted to prove [themselves],” said Coletta on what makes the offence tick against Eastern Washington. “Competition is tight with our guys internally, we have a lot of guys injured and a lot of guys trying to solidify their spots. Guys know competition and ice time is at a premium.”
The next game was a 6–1 win, with SFU not scoring any goals in the first. However, the floodgates opened in the second, as they added three goals in both the second and third periods. This game was once again dominated by the depth of SFU, as all six goals were scored by different players. It’s a good sign for the team, as in previous years they’ve lacked that scoring depth.
“I think any good team will tell you that you can’t rely on one line, sometimes that line gets shut down. We’ve had that problem the last couple of years. Always relying on Jono’s line a couple of years back, and [we] didn’t have any secondary scoring. If they were shut down, we were shut down as an offence as well. I think this year we’ve got a well-balanced attack: all four of our lines can score.”
Jordan Liem and Lyndon Stanwood split the starts over the weekend again, both allowing only one goal. It’s not a full-blown goalie controversy yet, but with both of them playing so well, it’s going to make it tough to choose between the two in the upcoming games.
“I don’t think there is any controversy, I just think we’ll just roll with it for the rest of the first semester,” said Coletta on the situation. “Depending on if it’s a real, stellar, outstanding performance where we have no doubt but to give whoever it is the next game. [. . .] We’ll just take it one game at a time as a coaching staff.”
Next up for SFU is a game against Trinity Western this Friday, a team with whom the Clan has traditionally played very close games.
“Obviously it’s going to be a really tough matchup. They play us really well, we haven’t seen them this year during the regular season, and they definitely have a good bunch of recruits that came in. [. . .] Again, I think we’re going to have to make sure we are moving our feet and play that in-your-face style of hockey, with all four of our lines that can get up and down the ice. Team speed is something we preach and that’s something we’re going to have to keep building upon.”
SFU’s next home game is against Selkirk College on November 26. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. at Bill Copeland Sports Centre.