By: Dylan Webb
On Thursday, January 18, the SFU hockey team made their last trip of the regular season to the Langley Events Centre for a game that had important playoff and rivalry implications. Facing the Trinity Western University (TWU) Spartans, SFU failed to repeat the consistent 60-minute effort that, before Thursday night, had them unbeaten in 2018.
In a tight checking first period that offered only a couple quality scoring chances either way, most notably a crossbar hit by SFU early on that would have benefitted from video review, defence took over and the score sheet remained blank. SFU had a five-on-three power play attempt last only four seconds as numerous overlapping penalties were called in the middle of the frame.
The Spartans opened the scoring early in the second period, tapping in a rebound for a power play tally. The score was 1–0 going into the third period.
The Spartans would cement their win in the third period, although SFU’s Ian Mackey, taking home third star, made it close early with his third goal of the season. TWU’s Dylan Sakatch had two points in the third period in which all the goals of the game but one were scored. By the end of the game, Simon Fraser had taken seven penalties and given up one power play goal, which prevented them from building momentum five on five. TWU would go on to win 4–1.
In net, Lyndon Stanwood had a solid game for SFU, saving 28–31 shot attempts in the contest despite the loss before an empty net goal by TWU sealed their fate. Stanwood continues to anchor an SFU team that had been on a tear since the spring semester began until the loss to TWU.
SFU and TWU have played extremely close games all season and the rivalry would certainly make for an entertaining playoff series. With the loss, Simon Fraser gives up the season series with TWU, but they remain in the thick of competing with the Spartans and Selkirk for the top two spots in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League with a 9–6–0 record.
The Clan are back at it Friday night as they host the University of Victoria Vikes — the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year and proceeded to win the league championship. SFU looks to clinch a win in the season series over the Vikes and extend their winning streak to five games on home ice. Puck drop is 7 p.m. at the Bill Copeland Arena.