By: Michael Lenko, Peak Associate
The SFU Hockey team handed the Trinity Western University Spartans their first loss of the BCIHL (British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League) season in a dominant offensive performance at the Langley Events Centre. Two nights later, the Clan followed their strong road effort with a thrilling shootout win at home to defeat the Spartans in consecutive games. The two wins capped the most successful week of the BCIHL season for the Clan as they snapped the Spartans twelve-game win streak, ended their drive for an undefeated season, and cemented their own spot in second place in the standings heading into the final ten games of the season.
In the Thursday night game at the Langley Events Centre, the Clan came flying out of the gate as Eric Callegari scored the first goal of the game on the powerplay. Though the Spartans responded three minutes later with a Spencer Gerth tally, SFU regained the lead once again on Kyle Bergh’s first goal of the night. Bergh added his second of the night on the powerplay shortly after to give the Clan the lead heading into the second period.
Just before the halfway mark of the second period, Bergh completed his hat-trick to extend the Clan lead to two. Mateo Coltellaro added his second of the season shortly after to allow the Clan to open up a big three goal lead on the Spartans. However, a late goal from Travis Verveda on the powerplay kept the Spartans within striking distance heading into the third.
At the start of the third the Spartans began to create numerous offensive chances, but Clan goaltender Patrick Zubick was there to shut the door emphatically. Making a sprawling stop that is surely the current save of the year in the BCIHL, Zubick kicked off one of his best periods of the season. Zubick ensured the Clan maintained a comfortable lead throughout the remainder of the game by stopping numerous grade A scoring chances. Though the Spartans added one more goal, courtesy of Jordan Bogress, a Takato Cox goal for the Clan sealed the game with less than four minutes to go. While the Spartans outshot the Clan on the night 35–27, they could not manage to counter the Clan’s offensive output. SFU hung on to win 6–3 to hand the Spartans their first loss of the season.
Both Bergh and Zubick were key factors in the positive result for the Clan. Bergh’s hat-trick put the Clan in a good spot in the early part of the game, and his third goal proved to be the game winner. Zubick was solid once again in net for the Clan as he stopped 32 shots in the winning effort.
The rematch two days later made for a wild game at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. Takato Cox scored on a partial breakaway to give the Clan an early lead for the second game in a row. Jacob Lacasse then scored his first career BCIHL goal with three minutes left in the frame to extend the Clan lead to two. SFU goaltender Andrew Henderson turned away all 18 of the Spartan shots he faced in the period.
SFU continued to dominate offensively in the second period as Arjun Bahd scored a powerplay marker that was followed by a tally from Mac Colasimone just 30 seconds later. Henderson continued to stand tall and stopped all 16 shots he faced in the middle frame.
The third period consisted of an epic comeback by the Spartans to force the game to overtime and, eventually, a shootout. Elijah Vilio scored halfway through the period to reduce the deficit to three. Soon after, Brayden Brown scored to pull the Spartans within two goals. The third-period wildness peaked with under 20 seconds left in the game as both Travis Verveda and Jarret Fontaine scored to pull the Spartans level with the Clan and force overtime.
The extra frame was all about Clan goaltender Andrew Henderson as he made a number of remarkable saves to force a shootout. In the first shootout for both teams this season, Takato Cox scored on the Clan’s first attempt and Andrew Henderson stopped all three Spartan shooters to secure the win.
The first star of the game was an easy decision as Andrew Henderson stopped an astounding 58 of 62 shots, many of which were from dangerous areas. Henderson now sits first in the BCHIL in both save percentage and goals against average heading into the final portion of the season.
With consecutive wins against the Spartans, SFU now sits in second place in the BCIHL standings. The Clan have yet to lose in 2020 and are on a five game winning streak.