By: Michael Lenko, Peak Associate
After uncertainty surrounding potential weather-induced ferry cancellations threatened to jeopardize SFU Hockey’s game against the UVIC (University of Victoria) Vikes, a small window of clear weather arrived to allow the game to be played. This was good news for Clan fans, as the team put together a dominating performance over the last place Vikes that culminated in a 5–3 win. With their winning streak extended to three games, the Clan is now in the thick of the race for the top two playoff seeds.
Clearly unaffected by the uncertainty surrounding the game, the Clan was ready to go as soon as the puck dropped. SFU scored two goals in the opening six minutes of play to take a lead they would never relinquish. Mitch Ledyard opened the scoring on the powerplay to pick up his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Daniel Rubin added to the Clan lead less than a minute later on a feed from Jacob Lacasse, who was making his BCHIL (British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League) debut. While the rest of the first period would see no other scoring, the Clan held a dominant 26–5 edge in shots at the end of the frame.
In the second period, the Vikes got on the board, as Brandon Volpe scored eight minutes into the period to cut SFU’s lead in half. However, the Clan responded with two more goals, heading into the third period 4–1. Mateo Coltellaro scored in his first game with the Clan with just over three minutes left. Less than a minute later, Mac Colasimone registered his seventh goal of the season, which increased his team-leading point total to 19. The shot tally was far more balanced during the second period, as the Clan outshot the Vikes 14–12.
Despite trailing by a seemingly insurmountable three goals, the Vikes made a decent attempt at a comeback in the third period. Vikes forward Kenny Britton cut the SFU lead to two halfway through the frame before Sawyer Hunt made the game really interesting by scoring with just over one minute left in the game. This was as close as the Vikes would come, though, as Ty Westgard scored into an empty net with five seconds left in the game to ensure the victory. By the end of the contest, the Clan had outshot the Vikes by an enormous margin, 58-26, which was easily their most dominant shot total so far this season. On this note, a notable performance for the visitors was goaltender Daniel Paul. In one of his most impressive efforts of the season, Paul turned aside 53 of the 57 shots the Clan threw at him.
With their third win in a row, the Clan now sits just two points behind the Vancouver Island University Mariners for second place in the BCIHL standings. As the two teams continue to remain within a couple points of each other, it’s tempting to look ahead to SFU’s final game of the season against the Mariners as one likely to have enormous playoff implications. With just ten games left in their regular season schedule, the time is now for the Clan to string some wins as they pursue a home playoff series and, more importantly, a BCIHL Championship banner.