No. 23 SFU Downs Montana to End Regular Season

MISSOULA, MT (April 28, 2012) No. 23 Simon Fraser rode a 19-11 lead late in the fourth quarter to down Montana by a final score of 20-15 to claim their fifth straight regular season divisional title and enter next weekend's Final Four Conference Tournament as the top seed from the PNCLL North.

Eight different Clan player registered multi-point games, led by the attack trio of Colton Dow (Coquitlam, BC/Heritage Woods Secondary) 2g, 4a, Calvin Craig (Coquitlam, BC/Gleneagle Secondary) 5g and Iain Vickars (Burnaby, BC/Burnaby South Secondary) 4g, 1a who continues to have a breakout freshman year over the back half of the season with 23 points (18g, 5a) over his last five games.

Fraser goaltender Darren Zwack continued a strong sophomore campaign with 17 saves, including several from point blank, to mark the tenth time this season that he has recorded double-digit saves in the 12 games that he has started.

Despite Montana getting on the board first, Zwack would make some of his biggest stops early in the contest as he robbed Griz shooters on multiple occasions over the opening quarter to allow SFU to find their footing and lead 4-3 after 15:00 minutes. Junior Henry Bishop (Portland, OR/Chester HS) put Montana up 1-0, followed by Clan freshman midfielder Casey Foster (Edmonton, AB/St. Francis Xavier HS) tying the score at 1-1, before Griz attackman Patrick Shelso (Memphis, TN/St. Benedict at Auburndale) gave Montana their second lead of the young contest at 2-1.

From there, Simon Fraser would begin to show their fire power as freshman attack Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK/Evan Hardy Collegiate) assisted on back-to-back goals by Calvin Craig, followed by Dow assisting on a goal by junior midfielder Eric Ransom (Sherwood Park, AB/Bev Facey HS) to give the Clan their first lead and a two-goal advantage at 4-2. Montana senior midfielder Kent Davis (Denver, CO/Regis HS) would close out the first quarter scoring and put the Griz down by one heading into the second frame.

Fraser would continue to hold the momentum to start the second quarter as another 3-0 run on goals by Vickars, Craig (assist Dow) and Ransom (assist Vickars) extended the Clan lead to four at 7-3. Montana senior midfielder Max Reuter (Portland, OR/Wilson HS) answered back for the Griz at 7-4.

The teams played even the rest of the half as three goals aside would see SFU maintain a three-goal advantage on tallies by Vickars, sophomore Frank Davalos (Moose Jaw, SK/Albert E. Peacock Collegiate) and freshman Sam Clare (Ladner, BC/Vancouver College) to sit up 10-7 at the break.

Following a relatively sloppy first half, Simon Fraser would have their best frame in the third quarter, responding to a hat trick marker by Kent Davis out of the intermission to go on a 5-1 tear the rest of the period. Dow started the SFU run (assisted by Foster), before finding Craig for his fourth of the game at 12-8. Sophomore midfielder Brendan Farrell (Milton, ON/St. Michael's College School) extended the Clan lead to five at 13-8.

Montana midfielder Andrew Wenzl (Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) briefly stalled the Clan onslaught at 13-9. Dow would then finish what he started, scoring his second of the game, shorthanded from Ransom, and then connecting with Davalos for his second to give Fraser a commanding lead of 15-9 down the stretch.

Vickars extended the Clan lead to seven to start the fourth quarter until penalties began to hamper the SFU momentum. Capitalizing with the man-advantage, Bishop scored on a Griz man-up, followed by a shorthanded marker from Sam Clare and another man-up goal by Andrew Wenzl to reset the score to 17-11.

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