No. 22 Simon Fraser Rally Falls Just Short vs. No. 7 Oregon

BURNABY, BC (February 14, 2013) Despite outscoring No. 7 Oregon 5-3 in the second half, No. 22 Simon Fraser would fall to 2-1 on the season with a narrow 9-8 loss, as the Ducks hung on to a 6-3 halftime advantage and staved off a final Clan comeback attempt following a SFU time-out in the offensive zone with 17 seconds left on the clock.

Fraser was led by freshman midfielder Andrew Branting (Duncan, BC/Cowichan Secondary) 2g and senior attackman Colton Dow (Coquitlam, BC/Heritage Woods Secondary) - 2g, who paced the Clan with two goals apiece. SFU also received strong secondary scoring with sophomores Sam Clare (Ladner, BC/Vancouver College) 1g, 1a and Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK/Evan Hardy Collegiate) 1g, 1a, joining senior Eric Ransom (Sherwood Park, AB/Bev Facey HS) 1g, 1a, each with a goal and an assist. The PNCLL cross-Divisional contest was broadcast live nationally on Laxx.TV.

The game would get off to a sloppy start as both teams searched for composure in the opening minutes. Oregon would be first to find their footing with senior attackman Matt Johnson (Eugene, OR/Sheldon HS) converting a solo effort to put the Ducks up 1-0. Branting would score his first of the game on an outside shot to even the score at 1-1, followed by UO freshman midfielder Taylor White (Annapolis, MD/St. Mary's HS), and Johnson with his second of the day on the man-up, to move Oregon ahead 3-1. Clare would find Dow open on the crease to bring the Clan back to within one at 3-2, before Johnson completed the first quarter hattrick, giving the Ducks a 4-2 lead after 15:00 minutes.

After both teams looked to have found their scoring touch, the pace would slow down considerably on the scoreboard in the second quarter. A UO man-up would spark the Duck offense and end a relatively long scoreless stretch as Johnson added his fourth of the day, followed by junior attackman Benton Souers (Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge HS) at even strength, to give Oregon their largest lead at 6-2. Clare would add one more for SFU to close out the half and narrow the gap to 6-3 at the intermission.

Looking to find their rhythm, Simon Fraser would appear much more relaxed out of the break and begin to go on the offensive with Dow scoring his second of the game to give the Clan some life at 6-4. Sophomore midfielder Kevin Proceviat (Palo Alto, CA/Palo Alto HS) would answer back for the Ducks at 7-4. Undeterred by the UO counter, SFU would continue to push the tempo, scoring consecutively on goals by Branting and junior midfielder Brendan Farrell (Milton, ON/St. Michaels College) to move the Clan to within one at 7-6 to end the third quarter and set the stage for a dramatic finish.

Freshman attack Jake Marcy (Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) would give Oregon some breathing room at 8-6 to start the fourth quarter. The storied rivals would continue trading goals with Spencer finishing a cross-crease pass from Ransom to make it 8-7, followed by Sours scoring his third of the game to regain a two-goal lead for the Ducks at 9-7. In what was a physical contest from start to finish, the officials would begin to crack down in the final frame, handing both teams several penalties down the stretch.

The increase in flags would be unable to cage the competitiveness from either side as the back-and-forth action continued, leading to another Clan goal, this time Spencer feeding Ransom, to once again make it a one-goal game with just under 0:30 seconds left to play. SFU would win the ensuing face-off and immediately call a time-out upon entering the offensive zone to give the Clan one final possession to try and tie the game. Fraser would work the ball in from behind out of the time-out but would be unable to solve the Duck defense, falling by a final score of 9-8.

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