It’s a brand new season for the Simon Fraser University hockey club.
The Clan club team won an early battle of the unbeaten, knocking off the defending B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League champion Selkirk College Saints 5-3 at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre of Saturday.
After a full season last year of playing second fiddle to the Saints, including a 3-2 overtime loss in the final game of the championship series, SFU scored three times in a five-minute span of the first period to get a jump on the visitors.
“We’ve been waiting to beat these guys for six months after they beat us in the finals. It’s massive,” said SFU first star Nick Sandor, who tied the game 1-1 with a wraparound goal midway through the first period. “We had a bad year against them last year.”
Last season, SFU lost all four regular season games and both championship playoff matchups against Selkirk.
This year, it was important to get the jump on the Castlegar club and set the stage for a more productive season, Sandor added.
“We got a lot of good offensive guys on our team, but even if we hold back we have the power to score goals. We have a good lineup this year,” Sandor said.
Josh McKissock put the Clan into the lead just 17 seconds after Sandor’s game-tying tally.
Taylor Piller made it 3-1 with less than two minutes left in the opening period.
Sandor set up second star Jono Ceci for a goal in each of the next two periods to keep the pressure on the visitors.
Graeme Gordon made 19 saves to record the win, but he would have liked to have Selkirk’s third goal back, when the puck got away from him on a harmless shot on goal.
The win left SFU with a 4-0 record and the only undefeated team in the six-team loop.
Trinity Western University at 4-1 and Selkirk at 4-2 are currently tied with the Clan atop the standings.
“We have our work cut out for us,” said SFU head coach Mark Coletta. “We have to be prepared that’s the focus going into next year.”
SFU plays host to the University of Victoria at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre on Saturday. Game time is 7 p.m.
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