By: Dylan Webb
SFU hockey responded to their tough loss against the streaking Spartans with a win over the University of Victoria (UVIC) Vikes Friday night at Bill Copeland Sports Centre. An offensive outburst in the first four minutes of the game gave the Clan all they needed to secure the win. Mathew Berry-Lamontagna scored the game-winning goal at 15:58 of the first period, as SFU, despite taking a bunch of penalties throughout the game, were too much for the Vikes.
The story of the game was the first four minutes of the first period in which, led by captain Brandon Tidy’s goal and assist, the Clan shocked the visiting team with an explosive start that the Vikes would never recover from. Tidy, the eventual first star of the game, opened the scoring just over a minute in which prompted the floodgates to open. By the time a quarter of the first period was complete, the Clan had a 3–0 lead, the eventual game-winning goal had been scored and, most importantly, SFU had set a tone of dominance.
The second period saw a one-sided parade to the penalty box in which SFU took seven consecutive penalties including a game misconduct. However, unlike the game against the Spartans the night before, in which power play goals against cost the team an opportunity to win the game, the Clan weathered the penalty storm. They successfully killed all the second-period penalties except one to maintain their lead and dominance heading into the third period.
The Clan continued to seek the confines of the sin bin throughout the third period with the team eventually taking a total of six more penalties throughout the third. Despite the win, this is one area the Clan will need to improve on as they ramp up their efforts to chase down the Selkirk Saints for second place in the league and home ice advantage in the playoffs. Despite giving up another power play goal in the third period, the Clan responded with a power play marker of their own to maintain the lead they would ride out for a much-needed rebound victory. By the end of the game, Simon Fraser had taken 13 penalties, but scored on almost 30% of the shots they took in the game. In other words, there were some areas of play that were in need of some significant improvement embedded within the all-important winning effort.
Between the pipes, Lyndon Stanwood had a solid game, as the Clan were actually outshot 21–17 in the contest, in what was Stanwood’s fifteenth start of the season. The team continues to rely heavily on Stanwood as the stretch drive for the playoffs gets started. No other goalie in the league has started more games than Stanwood (15) and his play has consistently been a factor in the Clan having a chance to win every time they step on the ice.
The UVIC Vikes have struggled mightily this season after winning the league championship last year, and are now 3–11–1 on the year. With the loss, the Vikes fell further out of playoff contention and now have a hill to climb in chasing down the Vancouver Island University Mariners as they cement the likelihood of a berth in the playoffs in their inaugural season. With the win, Simon Fraser takes the season series with UVIC and remains competitive with the Selkirk Saints for second place in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League with what is now a 10–6–0 record. The Clan is back at it next weekend as they hit the road for games against Eastern Washington and Selkirk.