Defense Helps No. 10 Simon Fraser Edge No. 14 Arizona

TUCSON, AZ (March 21, 2014) Leading 7-5 at the half, No. 10 Simon Fraser would hold No. 14 Arizona to just two goals in the second half, while adding an insurance marker midway through the fourth quarter to edge the Wildcats by a final score of 8-7.

Clan attackmen Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK/Evan Hardy Collegiate) with 2 goals and 2 assists, and Tyler Kikrby (Burnaby, BC/Burnaby South Secondary) with 2 goals and an assist, once again led Fraser offensively with a combined 7 points on the night.

The Clan also continued to get strong secondary scoring from the midfield with senior Brendan Farrell (Milton, ON/St. Michael's College) scoring 2 goals, junior Casey Foster (Edmonton, AB/St. Francis Xavier) adding a goal and an assist, and sophomore Chris Pond (Penticton, BC/Princes Margaret Secondary) netting the winner with his third goal of the season. SFU senior goaltender Darren Zwack (Edmonton, AB/Archbishop Jordan) also played a key role in the win, making 15 saves, with a save percentage of 0.682.

Arizona opened the scoring on a goal by Foster Bundy ( St. Louis, MO/Mary Institute Country Day School). SFU would then go an important 5-1 run extending into the second quarter as Ward Spencer converted a pass from sophomore attackman Lyndon Knuttila (Maple Ridge, BC/Thomas Haney Secondary) to tie the score at 1-1, then found Kirkby in front of the Arizona net, to move Fraser in front 2-1.

The Wildcats would even the score at 2-2 with Zach Johnson (Phoenix, AZ/Sandra Day O'Connor) finishing a pass from William Stanaback (Califon, NJ/Voorhees HS), until Farrell scored his first of the game, assisted by Foster, to put the Clan ahead 3-2, a lead they would not relinquish. Kirkby and Spencer connected one more time on Kirkby's second of the game to close out the opening frame with SFU leading 4-2 after 15:00 minutes.

SFU junior defender Mark Hilker (Bowmanville, ON/Clarington Central Secondary) helped make it three unanswered goals for the Clan, capping off a 5-1 run by finding Spencer left alone on the crease in transition to give Fraser a three-goal advantage at 5-2. Arizona sophomore midfielder Hunter Gore (Plano, TX/Plano HS) then got the Wildcats back on the board to prevent SFU from pulling away at 5-3, followed by another UA goal, this time from junior midfielder Levi Pellegrin (Chandler, AZ/Mountain Point HS), to reset the deficit back to one at 5-4.

Out of an SFU timeout, Fraser midfielder Casey Foster would bury a pass from Kirkby to sway the momentum back in the Clan's favor, with Farrell's second of the game putting the visitors back up by three at 7-4. Senior attackman William Stanaback would add one for the Wildcats before the intermission to keep Arizona to within two at 7-5 heading into the break.

After numerous chances for both teams in the first half, the play would tighten up considerably in the third quarter, with Arizona counting the only goal of the frame despite Simon Fraser holding a slight 8-5 advantage in shots. Freshman attack Cameron Wilhite (Tucson , AZ/Salpointe) had the lone hot stick of the period, finishing a pass from Stanaback, to bring Arizona back to within one at 7-6, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.

Fraser would continue to outshoot the Wildcats 9-4 over the final 15:00 minutes, limiting Arizona to just 9 shots over the third and fourth quarters, down from 22 shots against in the first half, to hold a narrow 34-31 advantage in the contest, but SFU second-year midfielder Chris Pond would be the only Clan player to beat UA goaltender Tanner Knego (Trebuco Cyn, CA/Tesoro HS) - 15 saves, 0.652 save %, giving SFU a two-goal lead with 8:30 left in the game.

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2014-03-22



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