No. 23 Simon Fraser Upends No. 11 Cal Poly in Overtime

BURNABY, BC -- Senior attack Ben Towner (Port Coquitlam, BC/Terry Fox Secondary) scored his fourth goal of the game 1:26 into overtime to lift No. 23 ranked Simon Fraser (2-5, 0-0 PNCLL) to a 9-8 victory over No. 11 Cal Poly (6-4, 2-0 WCLL) at Mercer Stadium in New Westminster, BC. The win improves Fraser to 2-5 on the season and snaps the Clan's five game losing streak, while Cal Poly slips to 6-4.

Despite going down 2-0 to start the out of conference matchup, Fraser led at the half for the second straight game. Junior Chris Tessarolo (New Westminster, BC/New Westminster Secondary) scored his only goal of the game to make the score 2-1 at the end of the first quarter. Back-to-back goals by Russel Thomas (Nanoose Bay, BC/Ballenas Secondary) and Ben Towner accounted for a 3-2 halftime advantage after the Clan held the Mustangs scoreless for the final 19:40 before the break.

Towner scored on the man-up to open the third quarter and extend the Clan lead to two. Matt Rudow (Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley) then scored his second of two goals to bring the Mustangs back to within one at a score 4-3.

SFU freshmen Eric Ransom (Sherwood Park, AB/Bev Facey High School) scored his fourth of the season to make the score 5-3 before Cal-Poly answered back with a quick two-goal run at the mid-point of the third quarter to draw the two teams even at a score of 5-5. With Fraser on the man-up, Adam Foss (Cochrane, AB/Cochrane High School) converted a Ben Towner pass to put the Clan ahead 6-5.

In a string of penalties to end the third quarter, the Mustangs would go on a man-advantage of their own with three minutes remaining. With Cal Poly looking to re-even the score, it would instead be SFU that once again capitalized on the odd-man situation as Towner and Foss both scored shorthanded, less than 30 seconds apart, to put the Clan up by three heading into the final frame.

With a much needed victory in sight, SFU would be unable to hold on to the three-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter, as the Mustangs scored three unanswered goals to force the extra period. Cal Poly midfielder Scott Heberer (Poway, CA/Poway) scored on the man-up just under four minutes in to the fourth quarter to make the score 8-6 before Brian Kovary (Encinitas, CA/La Costa Canyon) closed the Clan lead to one with seven minutes left to play.

With the Mustangs pushing to score, the Fraser defense would do a good job of limiting Cal Poly's chances until freshman Kyle Riddle (Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley) was able to find an opening just off the top of the Clan crease to tie the score at 8-8 in the game's final minute.

With 57 seconds still left to play, SFU would gain possession off of the ensuing face-off and call a time-out with 26 seconds on the clock. The Fraser offence would generate one last opportunity to end the game in regulation but a tipped shot from just inside the restraining box would force overtime to decide the close fought contest.

Cal Poly won the only faceoff in overtime but a successful Clan ride would prevent the Mustangs from ever reaching the offensive box. After forcing a turnover in midfield, Fraser would use a quick possession to get the ball to Towner at X. Despite having the ball momentarily dislodged from his stick, the two-time 1st Team All-American would recover the ball at the side of the Cal Poly net before burying a shot over top of the Mustang keeper for the game-winner.

Heberer (3g) and Rudow (2g, 1a) led the Mustangs with three points each, while Riddle (1g, 1a) was also a multi-point scorer in the loss. Goaltender Nick Czapla (Dublin, CA/Dublin) played all four quarters plus overtime for Cal Poly making 8 saves.

Towner led Fraser with six points on 4 goals and 2 assists, while Foss added 2 goals and 2 assists for the Clan. Goaltenders Mike Ripley (Saskatoon, SK/E.D. Feehan High School) and Dean Stewart (Duncan, BC/Claremont Secondary) continued to split time in the SFU net. Ripley played the first 30 minutes for the Clan making 4 saves with 2 goals against while Stewart played the remaining 31:26 including overtime making 7 saves with 6 goals against to earn the combined win.


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