SFU Hockey pulls out narrow victory in home opener

A hot start propelled the Clan to a hard-fought 5–4 victory over the VIU Mariners

The Clan has already gotten significant contributions from many of its new recruits. - Photo credit / SFU Hockey

By: Michael Lenko, Peak Associate

Rookie defenseman Jordan Dawson’s second tally of the game helped the Clan pull through in a tight victory against the VIU Mariners  — a victory that almost saw third period trouble coming back to haunt them. 

SFU came out of the gate with a hot start in the first period, with Justin Lee notching his first BCIHL goal in the first ten minutes of the game. The Clan would build upon their opening goal, with Mitch Ledyard notching his first of the season with roughly nine minutes left in the frame. Transfer goalie Patrick Zubick was impressive in his opening period with the Clan, making a key breakaway save to preserve the 2–0 lead heading into the intermission.

The second period opened with more offence from the Clan, as Kyle Bergh picked up his first goal of the season five minutes into the period. The middle of the period saw a shift in momentum, with the Mariners temporarily holding the pace of play. However, Zubick would continue his dominant play by making some key saves — most notably a huge backdoor save that robbed the Mariners of what appeared to be a sure goal. 

The Mariners would finally solve Zubick on their 22 shot of the game, as an Alex Hanson point-shot found its way past the screened SFU goaltender. The Mariners would add another goal with five minutes to play, as a breakdown on a Clan powerplay allowed Garret Dunlop to come in all alone and sneak one past Zubick shorthanded. Just under three minutes later, the Clan responded, with Jordan Dawson walking over the blue line and rifling a shot top corner for his first of the game and his BCIHL career.  

The third period would see a fairly even pace of play, but a weird deflection off a Jordan Dawson slapper would restore the Clan’s three goal lead. Following this, the Mariners ran into penalty trouble. The Clan would not be able to capitalize on their chances, however, as the Mariners killed-off all of their penalties in the third. This would wind up almost coming back to bite the Clan, as they ran into their own penalty trouble late in the game. On a five-on-three powerplay, late in the third, the Mariners would claw back to within two on a Seth Schmidt tally. The Mariners would add another off a Brett Witala tally, on a five on four advantage less than a minute later. This would be as close as the Mariners would get, though, as Zubick shut the door the rest of the way and picked up his first win of the season. He was one of the three stars of the game, along with Dawson and Lee. 

SFU had many strong efforts in its home opener, most notably from the three stars of the game. First year Dawson, who had two goals, and Patrick Zubick, who stopped 34 shots (many of them high quality scoring chances) were key factors in the win. Lee also stood out with his first BCIHL tally

The Clan also demonstrated a balanced attack, with three different forward lines contributing, as well as a pair of defensmen chipping in on the offensive side of the puck. Despite this success, the Clan will need to work on special teams, as they allowed three powerplay goals and a shorthanded tally.

The team will look to build off their first win of the season the following weekend, as the Mariners will return to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre for a rematch. The following night, the University of Victoria Vikes will come to town for the first of four games between the two teams this season.