Goaltender Andrew Henderson brought his A-game Saturday night, saving 57 of 61 shots, en route to a 5-4 shootout victory for SFU over the first-place Trinity Western University Spartans.
The happy ending first had it’s terrific start, as SFU built up a 4-0 lead over the 12-1-0 Spartans. Goals by Takato Cox, Arjun Badh, Jacob Lacasse and Mac Colasimone gave the hosts control despite being outshot 37-17 over 40 minutes.
Trinity Western ramped up the pressure in the third, and Elijah Vilio got them on the scoreboard 8:33 into the third on the power play. Brayden Brown put them within with 6:17 left in regulation.
Trailing by two with 20 seconds left, Trinity got within one on Travis Verveda’s tally with just 16.4 seconds on the clock and their goalie on the bench. Then Jarrett Fontaine tied up the game with 4.1 seconds remaining, wiping out all the momentum SFU had created before the final frame had begun.
Scoreless after five minutes of overtime, it all came down to the shootout – and Henderson.
“A lot of bounces went my way tonight,” said Henderson. “For the most part, I felt real good, like I felt every puck coming my way, it was either going to hit me, or hit somebody else.”
Henderson stood on his head in overtime, making six solid saves to force the shootout, where again he turned aside each TWU shot. He now possesses a .931 save percentage and a 2.94 goals against average, both tops in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League.
It came on the heels of a strong 6-3 decision over the Spartans on Thursday, where SFU ended the Langley team’s undefeated streak that spanned the season’s first 12 games.
Kyle Bergh led the way with a hat trick, giving him seven goals in 10 games. Also scoring were Eric Callegari, new addition Mateo Coltellaro and Cox.
Turning aside 32 shots in the win was Patrick Zubrick.
“You’re always going to look at the positives after a game like this. We took four points from the best team in the league, we’re rolling on a five-game win streak and we’re doing all the good things we have to do,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “Henderson was unbelievable and what can you say about (Cox’s) goal in the shootout. We’ve got a lot of skilled guys, we’ve just got to put it together for 60 (minutes).”
Now on a five game winning streak, 9-5 SFU pulls into sole possession of second place in the league.
SFU next faces the Selkirk College Saints at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre on Saturday (7 p.m.).