No. 17 Simon Fraser Falls a Goal Short Against No. 4 BYU

BOISE, ID (February 15, 2014) Down 6-2 at the intermission, No. 17 Simon Fraser went on a 4-goal run in the second half to tie the game at 6-6 mid way through the fourth quarter; however, BYU would finally answer with two late goals of their own and then hang on despite a final one-goal push from the Clan, before running out the game's final minute to walk away with a narrow 8-7 victory.

Attackman Tyler Kirkby (Burnaby, BC/Burnaby South Secondary) paced the Fraser offense for the second straight outing with a game high 4 points, on 2 goals and 2 assists. Juniors Sam Clare (Ladner, BC/Vancouver College) - 2g and Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK/Evan Hardy Collegiate) - 1g, 1a, were the other multi-point performers for the Clan, finishing with two points each in the neutral site, out of conference match-up, played in Boise, ID.

Brigham Young dominated time of possession to start the first quarter, jumping out to a 3-0 lead on consecutive goals from Cougar attackman Mike Fabrizio (Bountiful, UT/Bountiful HS) followed by freshman Aaron Fjeldsted (Alpine, UT/Lone Peak HS), after the Clan generated some early chances but failed to capitalize and take back any of the game's initial momentum.

A much needed SFU timeout would seem to provide Fraser with some temporary composure, as a big defensive stand capped off by a take-away check and fast break assist by junior defender Bayne Bosquet (Coldstream, BC/Kalamalka Secondary) got the Clan on the board with a crease finish from sophomore attackman Lyndon Knuttila (Maple Ridge, BC/Thomas Haney Secondary) to keep the game relatively close at 3-1 after 15:00 minutes.

BYU would extend their lead back to three to open the second frame with freshman midfielder Alec Grant (Las Vegas, NV/Palo Verde HS) giving the Cougars a 4-1 advantage. Clare would temporarily bring Simon Fraser back to life with his first of the game to reset the score to 4-2.

The two teams would then go back and forth, alternating possessions and each burning their final timeouts of the half, until BYU regained their offensive touch with back-to-back goals from junior midfielder Jake Arbon (Sandy, UT/Alta HS) and sophomore attackman Christian Taylor (Bountiful, UT/Bountiful HS) to lead the Clan by a score of 6-2 at the break.

Despite logging heavy minutes and giving up 6 goals in the first half, it would be Simon Fraser's defense, led by senior goaltender Darren Zwack (Sherwood Park, AB/Archbishop Jordan HS) who finished the game with 13 saves and a .619 save percentage that would turn the tides for the Clan. SFU would shut the Cougars out in the third quarter, while countering with two goals from Spencer and Kirkby, to close the gap to 6-4 heading down the stretch.

Fraser would continue to hold BYU off the scoreboard for the first 25:00 minutes of the second half, with Kirkby and Clare prolonging a 4-0 SFU run to tie the game at 6-6 with approximately 5:00 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Struggling to find the back of the net, it would be two broken plays with finishes by Fjeldsted and senior defender Michael Arntsen (Chandler, AZ/Hamilton HS) that would re-ignite the Cougar offense, seemingly putting BYU back in control, up 8-6 with just under 2:00 minutes left on the clock.

Refusing to let the game slip away, the Clan would once again show their resiliency as Kirkby drew a double from X and then found junior midfielder Travis Hayes (Dublin, CA/Dublin HS) open in the hole, with Hayes making no mistake in beating the BYU goalkeeper, to once again make it a one-goal game with just under a minute left to play. On the ensuing face-off, the Cougars would come out with the ball and then manage to run out the remaining time of possession to hold off the SFU comeback and escape with an 8-7 win.

Brigham Young will now have a brief four day break before continuing an 8-game stretch away from home when they face No. 10 Boston College in Palm Desert, CA on Thursday, February 20. Simon Fraser will play their second of back-to-back contests in Boise, ID as they turn around to play host Boise State University on Sunday, February 16 at 2:00 pm MST back at Lincoln Turf Field.


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