Crushing OT loss relegates SFU hockey to third place finish in BCIHL

Single points for Saints means Clan’s playoff destiny out of their control

Lyndon Stanwood is the winningest goalkeeper in SFU history. (Photo courtesy of SFU hockey)

By: Dylan Webb

On Saturday night, the SFU hockey team made their last trip of the regular season to the Castlegar Recreation Centre for a game that had important playoff and rivalry implications, to say the least. Fighting for the right to host a first-round playoff series, SFU failed to repeat the consistent 60-minute effort that has had them on a hot streak throughout most of the second half of the 2017–18 season. The Clan now face the tough reality of playing out the remaining two games of the season before heading back up to Castlegar to start the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) playoffs in the second week of March.

In a tight checking first period, Mac Colasimone scored the only goal of the period on the power play as SFU took a much-needed early lead and set the tone in an unfriendly barn. However, Selkirk goaltender Patrick Zubick made some key stops in the frame that prevented SFU from establishing a larger lead, which would end up being huge as the game progressed.

The Saints responded to a good first period from the Clan by scoring early in the second period, with league-leading goal scorer Dallas Calvin picking up the goal to even the game. This would again be the only goal of the period. The score would sit at 1–1 heading into the most important period of play for either team in the BCIHL season thus far.

Nothing would be decided in the third period as the teams would exchange goals to keep the stalemate intact and force overtime. However, simply forcing the game to overtime was enough for Selkirk to ensure a second-place finish in the BCIHL standings. Clinching second place now simply requires a win in their final game of the season, or an SFU loss in one of their two remaining games.

In overtime, Brandon Sookro, one of the most clutch Saints players throughout the season, would seal the win. This would give his team a clear path to home ice advantage, scoring the goal with just twenty seconds remaining in the overtime frame. The frustrating loss for the Clan is undoubtedly one they will have to quickly recover from as they make plans to hop back on a bus to Castlegar in March and seek their first win of the year in that building.

In net, Lyndon Stanwood enjoyed another solid performance, stopping 30 of 33 shots faced in what was a tough overtime loss. Stanwood, a fourth-year veteran of the team that will graduate at the end of this season, could possibly see some rest in advance of the playoffs starting now that SFU’s place in the standings is all but locked in. Stanwood has started the most games in the BCIHL this season (22).

SFU and Selkirk have played extremely tight contests all season and the rivalry will unquestionably make for an entertaining playoff series. With the loss, Simon Fraser gives up the season series to Selkirk and, barring a surprising loss by the Saints to Vancouver Island University in their final game of the year, will finish third in the league and line up to visit Castlegar in the first round.

You can catch the final game of the season at home at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre against the University of Victoria Vikes on March 3 at 7 p.m. as the team looks to tune up in time for playoffs.