Clan to host Spartans in key playoff matchup

Playoff hockey is coming to the Copeland.

Simon Fraser University’s men’s hockey team will play the underdog role in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League’s semifinal against the Trinity Western University Spartans.

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The Clan played top-ranked TWU tough all season, winning three out of seven games.

The series starts today (Thursday) in Aldergrove, before shifting to Burnaby’s Bill Copeland Arena on Friday (7 p.m.). A third game, if necessary, would take place back in Aldergrove on Saturday.

Fresh off a two-game home stand that saw them Selkirk College 10-0 and falling 6-5, SFU is flashing its offensive chops as it primes for the playoffs. Rookies Mitch Newsome, a Coquitlam Express product, and Cole Plotnikoff, who played junior in Saskatchewan, each racked up four points on the weekend to finish first and third, respectively, in team scoring.

Another Express grad, defenceman Mathew Berry-Lamontagna, also tapped in for four points, capping his final regular season with SFU in the top-20 of league scoring. The one-time Prince Albert Raider also secured his spot in the record books, playing his 121 consecutive game for SFU, and establishing a new BCIHL record for all-time points and goals by a defenceman.

Trinity Western won’t be a pushover, however. The Spartans lost only five times this season, while SFU placed fourth with a 12-11-0-1 record. The Spartans are led by Burnaby natives Jacob and Lucas Mills. A defenceman, Jacob finished sixth in team scoring with four goals and 15 assists, while Lucas is the squad’s No. 1 netminder, posting a 2.27 goals against average and .918 save percentage.

The Clan has its share of local content, too. Playing a big role on the blueline is Domenic Masellis, a former Express player in his first season at SFU. Netminder Michael Lenko meanwhile has been extremely hot, registering two shutouts in his last three starts.

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