SFU hockey has had Eastern Washington’s number all season, and tonight was no different. The Clan beat up on the Eagles 7–1, going 6–0 against them in the season, and outscoring them 40–7 in the process.
“I thought it was a good game,” said head coach Mark Coletta afterwards. “I thought we played a decent first period, the second period was tremendous, and we really worked the cycle. [. . .] We protected the puck — supporting the puck, keeping the puck away — and then getting it to the point and getting it to the net.”
Eastern Washington got on the board first, though, as Taylor Bargar put one home on the powerplay early on. However, SFU was able to battle back with two goals, the first from Adam Callegari on the powerplay and the second by Robson Cramer on a beautiful move on the breakaway.
In the second, it was Spencer Unger’s turn to score, converting on a two-on-one with Callegari to make it 3–1. Just a few minutes later, Callegari was at it again with the playmaking, this time assisting on Mike Sandor’s goal. Graham Smerek potted his sixth of the season to cap off a dominant second period for the Clan.
The third featured two more goals as Mak Barden and Smerek scored on a rare short-handed penalty shot. However, on Barden’s goal, a seldom-used and obscure rule forced goaltender Jordan Liem to sit out for a few seconds. The rule states that if a goalie goes to the bench before a penalty shot he has to sit out for at least one shot. Thus, Lyndon Stanwood came in, promptly stopped one single shot, and Liem went back in.
“I couldn’t tell you if that’s a rule or not either,” said Liem after the game about the strange play. “I think that referee [maybe] still has it out for me after giving me that one-game suspension. I don’t think we’re buddies, but apparently I can’t come to the bench. Could have told me before I came to the bench for the penalty shot, but I just got waved off for one play and then Lyndon got to make his one save and I came back in.”
The win brings SFU’s record to 17–3–2 and 36 points, and sit atop of the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) standings. The Clan — barring an unexpected collapse — will finish the season in first, as the best second-place Trinity Western can do is tie SFU on points. With home ice advantage throughout the playoffs essentially confirmed, this season marks a terrific opportunity for SFU to win their first championship since 2011.
Next Game: SFU won’t play again until March 3, where they’ll take on the Trinity Western Spartans back to back. By then, first place could be clinched, so the key in these games will be for SFU to come out healthy and confident. SFU is 2–1 against Trinity Western this season, with their last game being a 2–0 victory back on February 2.
Both games start at 7 p.m.