It was only a preseason game. However, a 6–1 defeat — especially to perhaps your biggest rivals, and the team that knocked the Clan unceremoniously out of the playoffs last season — raises some concerns heading into BC Intercollegiate Hockey League play on October 7.
“I think overall the effort was poor,” said head coach Mark Coletta afterwards. “Everything was poor on our front. We’ve got some work to do.”
What made this game so perplexing from an SFU perspective is how it started. The first period was uneventful: shots were just 6–5 at the end of the period, and the only real scoring chance was from new captain Brandon Tidy.
However, it was all Trinity Western in the second. In a vastly different period, there were four breakaways early on, two for either side, and both of SFU’s were for newcomer Daniell Lange. However, a knuckler from Spartans defender Kenny Batke fooled Jordan Liem, opening the floodgates for four more goals. The second and third goals, as well as the fourth and fifth, came within one minute of each other.
“Everything was poor on our front. We’ve got some work to do.”
The third saw SFU get a goal, courtesy of Tidy. He was able to break Trinity Western’s shutout at the 8:15 mark of the period.
“[Mak] Barden and [Jaret] Babych had two good minutes behind the net,” said Tidy on what led to his goal. “[So] when me and [Graham] Smerek went out there, we had five tired Spartans and we took advantage.”
The third also had a couple of big scrums. The first saw a Trinity Western player get into a fight with SFU goalie Lyndon Stanwood. He was helped off the ice afterwards and as of publication time there is no update on his status from Coletta. The second one involved Trinity Western’s goalie Lucas Mills, who skated out of his crease after a stoppage in play to confront an SFU skater. Both came with under two minutes to go. It’s another chapter in an intense rivalry between the two teams.
“We had a good discussion after the game about how to act, how to conduct yourself not only as an athlete but as an individual,” said Coletta after the game. “I think sometimes emotions get the better of guys. We don’t condone any of that garbage. If somebody wants to fight one on one because somebody instigates our goalie that’s great. I think one-on-one fights are a part of hockey. All the other stuff is not condoned by us.
“A loss is a loss, it’s easy to look behind and go forward,” said Tidy on what the team needs to do for future games. “We can’t dwell on a 6–1 exhibition loss, that’s not going to be any good. Just have a hard week of practice and see what we can do.”
SFU’s next home game is October 15 against Selkirk College. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. at Bill Copeland.