By: Michael Lenko, Peak Associate
Editor’s note: Michael Lenko is a member of the SFU Hockey team
After a disappointing third period collapse on Friday night, which saw the Clan fall 5–4 in overtime to the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners, the team rebounded on Saturday with an impressive 3–0 win against the University of Victoria (UVIC) Vikes. The win over UVIC was a special one for first year goaltender Andrew Henderson, as he picked up his first BCIHL win and shutout.
In the opening game of the weekend, the Clan looked poised for another win after continuing a recent trend of hot starts. Mitch Ledyard and McKullen Astill both scored in the first 10 minutes of the game to provide a 2–0 lead for the Clan that they would hold through the first period. They continued to dominate and ended up with 12 shots on VIU starter Jeremy Balyk in the frame.
The start of the second would see the Mariners pull within one after a Ronnie Wilkie deflection on the powerplay got the Mariners on the board. The Clan would get back on track later in the period, as veteran forward Mac Colasimone restored the two goal lead under two minutes after Wilkie’s goal. SFU would continue their dominance on the offensive end, as freshman Justin Lee notched his second goal of the season toward the end of the second. SFU continued to hold the edge in shots, 23–15, after the second.
The start of the third period would see the wheels fall off for the Clan. VIU would make the game 4–2 on a Seth Schmidt marker that beat a screened Lenko on the powerplay early in the third. VIU continued the comeback, as a Garret Dunlop deflection brought the visitors to within one. With just under six minutes left in regulation, Brett Witala tied the game by walking in, uncontested, and picking the top corner through a screen. VIU would cap off the comeback, in overtime, as a defensive breakdown allowed Gavin Rauser to end the game with a Mariners victory.
While the loss to the Mariners was certainly painful, given the squandered lead, there were a few positives to build off in the game for the Clan. The team was able to have another strong start and that, combined with a solid goaltending performance, ensured at least a single point. The obvious worry to take from the game is that the Clan has struggled to close out two games in the third against the Mariners in consecutive weeks.
In the second game of the weekend, the Clan seemed to put their recent third period struggles behind them as they picked up a dominant 3–0 win over the UVIC Vikes.
In the opening frame, the Clan once again came out to a blazing start and peppered UVIC starter, Daniel Paul with 24 shots. Paul stood his ground, however, as he turned away all 24 shots in the period.
The second period saw the game slow down, as both teams put up only three shots a piece. The Clan made the most of their chances, though, as second year forward Kyle Bergh scored his second of the season from a sharp angle to give the Clan the lead.
The third period would again see an even pace of play. However, the Clan once again made the most of their limited opportunities with goals from Jake Keremidschieff and Mac Colasimone. That was it for offense in the game, as both goaltenders dominated throughout most of the night. Andrew Henderson, making his first career BCIHL start, made his best save of the night in the third on a breakaway, which helped him pick up his first career BCIHL shutout.
While the Clan obviously would have liked to pick up all four points on the weekend, their solid play on Saturday allowed them to jump into a tie with UVIC for third in the league, with four games in hand.
SFU now turns its attention to a heavy November schedule that has the team facing off against the Vikes and Spartans twice and the Mariners three more times.