No. 25 Simon Fraser Shuts Down Reigning GRLC Champ Illinois

CHICAGO, IL (March 28, 2013) Simon Fraser opened their three-game trip through the Midwest with a convincing 7-2 win over reigning GRLC champ Illinois.

The Clan defense managed to shut down the Illini for the majority of the contest, backstopped by outstanding performances from both SFU goaltenders, who combined for a .867 save percentage on the evening. Senior Kyle Middleton (Nanaimo, BC/Woodlands Secondary) started the game making 7 saves with just 1 goal against (.875 GAA), followed by junior Darren Zwack (Sherwood Park, AB/Arch Bishop Jordan HS), who stepped in at the half, also holding Illinois to a lone goal, while posting 8 saves (.889 GAA) in the win.

Fraser dominated the Illini in transition, as an aggressive ride led to a significant majority in offensive possessions for the Clan who now sit at 6-4 on the season. The win also marked Simon Fraser's second of the year over an opponent who qualified for the 2012 MCLA National Championship Tournament in back-to-back victories, after dispatching defending SELC champ and current No. 18 Virginia Tech (11-9) two weeks prior (March 12).

Sophomore midfielder Sam Clare (Ladner, BC/Vancouver College) converted a pass from senior attackman Eric Ransom (Sherwood Park, AB/Bev Facey HS), to open the scoring and register his first of a game-high 2 goals, to give the Clan a 1-0 advantage early in the match-up. Freshmen Alex Bohl (Newmarket, ON/The Hill Academy) then finished a great look from fellow midfielder Chris Pond (Penticton, BC/Princess Margaret Secondary) to put Fraser ahead 2-0. Illinois attackman Colin Chatten (Grayslake, IL/Grayslake North HS) got the Illini on the board to end the first quarter with a score of 2-1.

The two teams would continue to trade chances throughout the second frame but Illinois keeper Matt Walker (Clarendon Hills/Hinsdale Central) equaled the play of Middleton over the duration of the quarter, holding all shooters off of the scoresheet to keep it a one-goal game at 2-1 heading into the intermission.

Simon Fraser would begin to find their legs out of the break, as Ransom found first-year midfielder Jordan Stroup cutting through the middle following a Clan man down to start the quarter and reset the score to 3-1. Junior Brendan Farrell (Milton, ON/St. Michael's College) continued the Clan run, scoring on an outside shot, down the alley, followed by attackman Colton Dow (Coquitlam, BC/Heritage Woods Secondary) on the fast break, to extend the SFU lead to four at 5-1.

Illinois midfielder Ryan Walker (Flossmoor, IL/Homewood Flossmoor HS) was the only Illini player to beat Zwack in the second half, closing the score to 5-2, before Clare scored his second of the game to give the Clan a 6-2 lead down the stretch.

The fourth would be another quiet quarter on the scoreboard, as Ransom cashed-in a cross-crease pass from fellow attackman Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK/Evan Hardy Collegiate) to cap-off a game leading three-point effort. The Clan defense lead by the quartet of sophomores Bayne Bosquet (Coldstream, BC/Kalamalka Secondary) and Mark Hilker (Bowmanville, ON/Clarington Central Secondary), junior Tommy Newton (Saskatoon, SK/Aden Bouwman Collegiate) and freshman Alex Thomson (Coquitlam, BC/Gleneagle Secondary) continued to lock down Fraser's defensive end the rest of the way, holding the Illini to just 2 goals on the night to earn the 7-2 victory.

SFU will now take a day-off to travel cross state to Michigan where they will play consecutive games versus No. 9 Michigan State and No. 24 Davenport. Illinois will also be back in action this Saturday as they host Illinois State in their first GRLC Conference match-up of the season.


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