The best one-two punch in Canada West, in the form of sophomore forward Easton Ongaro
and third-year forward Ajeej Sarkaria
, host two B.C.-based teams who haven’t played at Foote Field since 2013.
The 5-0-0 Golden Bears, also ranked No.8 nationally, square off against the 1-2-2 Victoria Vikes on Saturday at approximately 2:15 p.m. and the 2-1-1 Fraser Valley Cascades the following afternoon, with both games also being available live on Canada West TV.
Bears’ Two-Pronged Attack
After five games, Ongaro and Sarkaria each have six points and two game-winning goals, their combined 12 points leading the conference in offence, though the Saskatchewan duo of Nikolas Baikas and Tyler Redl aren’t far behind (11 points combined).
The Edmonton-born Ongaro also comes into the weekend after earning Canada West First Star of the Week honours the previous weekend by scoring three goals in two games, including two game-deciding markers.
Tale of Two Strategies
On paper, the battle with Victoria looks to be slanted towards scoring prowess, the Vikes scoring six goals in their last two games but also allowing seven, not to mention an average of 3.6 goals against per game.
Fraser Valley, on the other hand, brings a more defensive game to the pitch, scoring only six goals in four games and allowing only two.
The Bears look prepared for either type of match, sitting second in Canada West with 10 goals and 28 total points (10 goals, 8 assists) but also falling right behind the Cascades by allowing only 3 goals so far this season.
Stat of the Match:
Senior goalkeeper Connor James
will break the Canada West record for most games played by a goalie this weekend, eclipsing the mark set by UNBC’s Tyrone Venhola last year, both players currently sitting at 58 career conference games.
Hailing from Edmonton, James already owns the conference records for career wins (40) and minutes played (5,220) but will have a tough time setting a new record for shutouts, currently sitting four behind Victoria’s Dominic Butcher (28).
Players to Watch:
Ian Whibley – Forward – Victoria
: The sophomore scored half of his team’s six goals last weekend, scoring the game’s first goal both times and within the first 10 minutes of play.
Matteo Ventura – Forward – Victoria
: Born in Prince Rupert, B.C., the rookie is on a three-game point streak, notching three goals and four points over that span.
Gurmaan Jhaj – Midfielder – Fraser Valley
: The fourth-year student athlete was the difference in the Cascades’ last match, netting two goals and one assist en route to the team’s 4-0 decision over Victoria back on September 2.