Selkirk College Saints Return to the Rink

Sep 05 2018
The Selkirk College Saints are gearing up for another exciting season of BCIHL hockey with a team loaded with talent. The team's schedule has been released and the date for the annual fundraising golf tournament set as they move towards the early-October home opener.

The student athletes on the Selkirk College Saints are settling into their classes and ramping up their energy on the ice as the team prepares for the 2018-2019 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season.

With a roster that includes half veterans and half rookies, this season’s edition of the Saints is loaded with both potential and faces that local hockey fans will recognize.

Selkirk College Saints goaltender and Castlegar native Patrick Zubick is one of the key returning players who will help make the team competitive in the 2018-2019 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season.

“There’s always a lot of energy at this time of the season because players are excited to get back on the ice and get to know their new teammates,” says Saints’ head coach Brent Heaven. “We have a great balance on the team this season and once the guys get settled, I’m confident we’ll have a very competitive team.”

Tradition of Excellence

Over the past six seasons, the Saints have been a BCIHL powerhouse. The Castlegar-based team won four straight league championships between 2013 and 2016 and last season settled for second after Trinity Western University captured its first BCIHL title.

With the addition of six former Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) players in the off-season, the Saints’ roster of 25 athletes now includes more than half with regional hockey ties to teams like the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, Castlegar Rebels, Nelson Leafs and Creston Valley Thunder Cats.

“It’s important that Selkirk College provides an opportunity for those who play in our region to pursue both a post-secondary education and hockey at a higher level,” says Kim Verigin, Selkirk College’s Athletics & Recreation Coordinator. “Brent has done a fantastic job of recruiting players who not only make our team better, but are familiar with the Selkirk College communities.”

Third-year defenceman Jackson Bruce-Fuoco will be one of the anchors on the Saints blueline this season.

Another key addition to the team this year is assistant coach Garrett Turner who has arrived from Red Deer College where he was the assistant on a team that featured former Saints’ defenceman Arie Postmus. He will join Heaven and assistant coach Justin Kanigan behind the bench.

The Saints training camp is currently underway with the first game action taking place on Vancouver Island on September 21 and 22 when the team will play the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University, the latter featuring five former Saints who are continuing their education at the Nanaimo post-secondary.

The Saints open the regular season at home against rival Simon Fraser University on October 5 and 6 at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre. The first semester schedule features eight home games that ends in early-December with a pair of contests against Vancouver Island University at the Beaver Valley Arena in Fruitvale (December 1) and the Nelson & District Community Complex (November 30).

“Though we’re based in Castlegar, Selkirk College is a regional post-secondary and the Saints are a regional hockey team,” says Verigin. “With so many ties to both Nelson and Beaver Valley, it’s a great opportunity to bring this calibre of hockey to those communities. That weekend is going to be one of the highlights of our schedule this season.”

Saints Annual Golf Tournament Set for September 16

As the Saints prepare for the upcoming campaign, they will take a break from the rink on September 16 for the Fifth Annual Selkirk College Saints Golf Tournament. With an assist to title sponsor Kootenay Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, the scramble tournament is played at the Castlegar Golf Club and includes a fantastic meal, prizes and silent auction.

“Community support for our team is vital and this golf tournament has become a terrific annual event that draws more than 100 players of all abilities,” says Heaven. “It’s a great day to unwind, have some fun and raise money to help our student athletes compete in the upcoming season.”


Selkirk College Saints Add Bricks to Defensive Core

Aug 10 2018
With a goal of returning the BCIHL championship to the West Kootenay, the Selkirk College Saints have put the final pieces of puzzle together for the 2018-2019 roster that will include a trio of defensive stalwarts who will make the blueline crew one of top units in the league.

The Selkirk College Saints ability to keep the puck out of the back of the net in the upcoming British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season has been bolstered by the addition of a trio of towering defencemen.

When the 2018-2019 season opens next month, the Saints blueline corps will welcome Brendan Campbell, Vince Bitonti and Joe Gage. All three defencemen have resumes that include team leadership, physicality, strong work ethic, offensive touch and league championships.

“Our program has always placed an emphasis on defence,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “Making it difficult for the opponent to score is what ultimately defines a championship team. The addition of these three proven defencemen to what is already a very solid unit takes us to the next level.”

Brendan Campbell is transferring to Selkirk College from Trinity Western University where he helped the Spartans capture the 2018 BCIHL championship this past March in Langley.

Campbell joins the Saints after a season with the Trinity Western University Spartans, helping capture that school’s first BCIHL championship trophy last March when they defeated the Saints in the final series. The 6’3” Cloverdale native finished his junior career in Timmins, Ontario before moving back to British Columbia to start post-secondary at Langley-based TWU where he quickly established a reputation on the ice as a strong skater and tough defender.

“I decided to transfer to Selkirk College because they have a reputation of having an outstanding hockey program and having the opportunity to play in a small community my last year of junior, I really came to love the small town atmosphere,” says Campbell, who will be taking classes in the Business Administration Program. “This, along with the small class sizes, makes Selkirk College a perfect fit for me.”

Former Rebels Captain Joins Saints

Originally from Calgary, Bitonti is a familiar face to West Kootenay hockey fans having played his final three seasons of junior hockey with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Castlegar Rebels. The captain of the Rebels last season, the 6’2” Bitonti was a force both defensively and offensively where he scored 20 goals and added 33 assists on his way to being named the KIJHL’s top defenceman.

Selkirk College Saints recruit Vince Bitonti will be back in familiar surroundings at the start of the 2018-2019 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League season. Last year’s captain of the Castlegar Rebels, Bitonti will help bulk up the Saints blueline.

“I will be bringing a positive attitude and 200-foot style of game to the Saints,” says Bitonti, who is also enroled in the Business Administration Program. “A big part of why I have chosen to come to Selkirk College is the hockey team’s consistent focus on excellence and a community that is familiar to me. This is a great chance to attend school and continue playing hockey.”

College Atmosphere a Provides a Plus

Gage arrives to Selkirk College from the powerhouse Campbell River Storm organization where he helped the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) team claim a championship last spring. Known as a reliable puck-moving defenceman, at 6’2” Gage is also a pillar in the defensive zone. During the 2016-2017 season, Gage was named the VIJHL’s top defenceman.

Joe Gage will follow in the footsteps of several other Campbell River Storm graduates like Dane Feeney, Brayden McCartney, Jordan Rauser and Nathan Browne who graduated from junior hockey to the Selkirk College Saints.

“I have heard that Selkirk College has the best fans in the league and I am looking forward to being part of that atmosphere,” says Gage, who will join the other two defence recruits in the Business Administration Program.

The trio will join returning defencemen Jackson Bruce-Fuoco, Parker Wakaruk, Brayden McCartney and Cole Arcuri on the Saints blueline that has the potential to be the best in the league.

“If we are to bring a championship back to the West Kootenay at the end of the season, it will take a commitment to defence,” says Heaven. “With two strong goaltenders [Patrick Zubick and Tallon Kramer] and this line-up, teams will have a difficult time playing against us this season.”

The Saints begin training camp next month at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre.


Selkirk College Saints Add Tenacious Trio to Roster

JUL 18 2018

The Selkirk College Saints are putting together the pieces for what will be another outstanding season on the ice. The team didn't need to look far to find three players who will help with a successful 2018-2019 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League season.

In establishing the gold standard in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) over the last few years, the success of Selkirk College Saints program can be attributed to a work ethic that mirrors the region the team calls home.

As the Saints get set to embark on the 2018-2019 season, a trio of recruits will help continue the theme of steadfastness as it looks towards a return to the championship final. Former Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) standouts Edward Lindsey, Dylan Heppler and Tayden Woods will attend Selkirk College starting in September.

Local hockey fans are in for a treat for the upcoming Selkirk College Saints season with the addition of a trio of offensive threats who have proven themselves at the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League level and beyond. The three latest recruits include Tayden Woods, Dylan Heppler (above) and Edward Lindsay.

“It’s rare that our team is outworked in a game,” says Saints’ head coach Brent Heaven. “Along with bringing tremendous offensive upside, we are excited to have these three players join our team because they have proven over the course of their junior careers that determination and grit are vital parts of the way they play.”

Castlegar Rebels Grad Sticks Close to Home

Lindsey wrapped up a five-year stint with the hometown Castlegar Rebels by being named the most valuable player in the Neil Murdoch Division in the 2017-2018 season. Raised in Castlegar, Lindsey played a total of 215 games with the Rebels where he averaged almost a point a game. The talented forward led the Rebels in scoring last season with 75 points which put him fourth overall in the KIJHL

Edward Lindsey played five seasons with his hometown Castlegar Rebels, leading the team in scoring during the 2017-2018 campaign.

“I chose Selkirk College because of the wide variety of courses offered to help advance myself academically and after being able to witness the success of the Saints in the past years,” says Lindsey, who is enroled in the School of University Arts & Sciences. “I will bring an offensive game to the team, with a hard work ethic and a drive to bring the Saints back on top of the BCIHL.”

Heppler is originally from Taber, Alberta and played three seasons for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks where he helped the team to a stellar championship run in 2017. Like Lindsey, Heppler led his team in scoring last season with 54 points while also contributing significantly in the defensive zone.

“Having played junior just up the road in Beaver Valley, I was already familiar with the Saints program and have nothing but praise for the college,” says Heppler, who will take the Millwright/Machinist Program at Nelson’s Silver King Campus. “I will bring an element of speed and some offensive upside to my new team. I pride myself on having a hard work ethic and have the drive to win a championship.”

Great Fit for Upcoming Season

Woods arrived to the West Kootenay from Calgary where he played the 2015-2016 season with the Castlegar Rebels. On his way to being named the Neil Murdoch Division’s rookie-of-the-year that season, Woods notched an impressive 74 points to lead his team in scoring and finish fourth overall in the league. He then moved on to play two full seasons of Junior A hockey in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

After starting his junior career with the Castlegar Rebels, forward Tayden Woods played Junior A hockey in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

“Selkirk College’s hockey team has a rich history of winning championships and being a successful program,” says Woods, who has chosen to study in the Business Administration Program. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to begin my education in Castlegar, a place where I’m very comfortable and is like a second home to me. I know that coach Heaven can continue to develop me as a player and he has made me feel very wanted by the program.”

The Saints were denied their fifth BCIHL title last March when the Trinity Western University Spartans defeated the local squad in the championship final. The Saints finished the 2017-2018 regular season in second place with an 18-5-0-2 record.

“As local hockey fans already know from having watched these three players in junior, our team just became that much more energized both offensively and defensively,” says Heaven. “All three players are proven leaders who will fit in perfectly with the group we already have in the dressing room. We are pleased they decided to join our program where they can develop both academically and athletically over the course of the season.”

The Saints begin training camp at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex in September.


Selkirk College Saints Load Up on Leadership

Jul 04 2018
Success at the post-secondary level requires commitment and desire to overcome obstacles which is exactly the forumla the Selkirk College Saints employ when putting together a roster to compete in the BCIHL. As the team gets set for the upcoming season, two new additions will help the team work towards the ultimate goal of a championship.

If the Selkirk College Saints are to return the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) championship trophy to the West Kootenay, it will take a dressing room full of dedication to get them to the ultimate goal.

As Saints’ head coach Brent Heaven assembles his roster for the upcoming 2018-2019 season, leadership is a quality that scores high on his charts. With the addition of former Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) standouts Landon Walters and Andrew Thompson, the veteran coach feels good about how the squad is shaping up.

“Being a good leader is about competing hard every night and having the character to show your teammates what it takes to succeed,” Heaven says. “Both Andrew and Landon have shown this leadership at the junior A level and we are pleased to welcome them Selkirk College.”

Walters Drawn to Region by Tradition and Beauty

Originally from Regina, Walters spent his final season of junior with the Weyburn Red Wings where he scored five goals and added 24 assists.

Landon Walters played his final season of junior with the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings in 2017-2018 and will suit up for the Selkirk College Saints starting this September.

“Landon brings more than 100 games of junior A experience in the SJHL,” Heaven says of the 5’10” centre. “We feel that Landon will be a great addition to our program and one that has the potential to be a difference maker.”

Walters was drawn to Selkirk College by the team’s tradition of excellence and the beauty of the West Kootenay. He is enroled in the Business Administration Program where he plans on acquiring the skills and knowledge to get into the family business.

“I will bring a positive attitude, leadership and compete to the team,” Walters says. “Always positive either up or down in the game, I’m a leader on and off the ice. I hate losing, I’m a very competitive person.”

Thompson a Proven Leader in Junior A

A 6’2” left winger, Thompson was the captain of the Melfort Mustangs during the 2017-2018 season where he scored 17 goals and added 10 assists.

“Andrew is a great leader and constant competitor,” Heaven says. “He has shown a very high compete level to go along with his lead-by-example style of play. We are very pleased to be able to add another strong character player that we know will be a staple of our lineup moving forward.”

Andrew Thompson was the captain of the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs in the 2017-2018 season. The big left winger will join the Selkirk College Saints for the upcoming 2018-2019 BCIHL season.

Originally from Lethbridge, Thompson is enroled in the Electrical Foundation Program on the Silver King Campus. With 104 penalty minutes in the SJHL last season, Thompson will be looking to add even more spirited tenacity to the Saints roster.

“I will be bringing a physically two-way forward style of play,” he says. “Playing hard in the gritty areas and competing day in and day out is what I pride myself on.”

The Saints begin the 2018-2019 BCIHL season in September where they will be looking for a return to the championship series. This past March, the Saints lost to the Trinity Western University Spartans who claimed their first ever league title. The Saints captured four straight provincial championships between 2013 and 2016.



Selkirk College Saints Bolster Offence

Jun 27 2018
Hockey fans have come to expect plenty of goals when they attend Selkirk College Saints games with the team's trademark high energy offence. As the team prepares to embark on the 2018-2019 season, they are adding plenty of firepower.

The Selkirk College Saints will welcome a pair of proven offensive threats when the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season begins in September.

With the departure of offensive powerhouse Dallas Calvin, a priority on head coach Brent Heaven’s off-season to-do list is to find players to help fill the gap for the 2018-2019 season. The Saints’ coach will be looking to Nova Scotia native Josh Shatford and Saskatchewan native Rylan Freed to help carry the offensive weight in the upcoming season.

A speedy forward who plays with an edge, Nova Scotia native Josh Shatford will join the Selkirk College Saints at the start of the 2018-2019 BCIHL season.

“Josh is a highly skilled player with over 250 games of experience between junior A and the major junior level,” says Heaven. “He plays with an edge and has a strong hockey IQ, which helps his offensive flare. We feel that he will be able to step in and contribute at both ends of the ice immediately for the Saints.”

Last season, Shatford played in the Sask West Hockey League (SWHL) where he scored 26 goals in 19 games, added 21 assists and compiled 95 penalty minutes.

“I chose Selkirk College because I heard great things from guys who have played there,” says Shatford, who also spent time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). “Selkirk College has a great and storied hockey program, and can offer me the training I was looking for in an awesome environment.”

Shatford will start his post-secondary pathway in the Millwright/Machinist Program on Nelson’s Silver King Campus and then plans to enrol in the School of Business Administration for his second year at Selkirk College.

“I hope to help the Saints get the BCIHL Championship back,” says Shatford. “I play a high energy, physical game and love to win. I can’t wait to suit up for the Saints this season and next.”

Academics Lead Freed to West Kootenay

Last season, Freed played in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL) for the Temiscaming Titans where he led his team in scoring with 44 goals and 56 assists in only 35 games.

“Rylan is a player that we feel has an exceptional upside, he brings more than 180 games of junior A experience and with that a deep knowledge of what it takes to succeed,” says Heaven. “We expect Rylan to be able to help bolster the Saints offense, while increasing the level of compete within our group.”

After leading his junior A team in scoring last season, Rylan Freed will begin his post-secondary career with the Selkirk College Saints starting in September.

Freed will be begin his post-secondary in the School of Business Administration on the Castlegar Campus.

“The reason I chose Selkirk College was mainly because the college was very welcoming, they were understanding with the program I was interested in taking and were interested in helping me with my future,” says Freed, who plays centre. “On the ice, I look forward to bringing some speed and offense along with a good two-way game because everything starts from your defensive zone.”

The Saints made it to the BCIHL championship series this past spring, but were defeated by the Trinity Western University Spartans. Winners of four championships in a row between 2013 and 2016, the team is looking to return the provincial title to the West Kootenay this coming season. The Saints training camp starts in September.


Selkirk College Saints Add Familiar Faces to Roster

Jun 20 2018
The Selkik College Saints are busy putting together a roster for the upcoming BCIHL season designed to make a run at a league championship and have started with a pair of locally groomed players who are excited to pursue their academics and athletics close-to-home.

The Selkirk College Saints didn’t need to look far to find a pair of top forward prospects to join the recruiting class for the upcoming 2018-2019 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season.

As the Saints gear up to plot a return to the BCIHL championship final, Saints’ head coach Brent Heaven has announced that Beaver Valley Nitehawks graduate Nolan Percival and Castlegar Rebels graduate Chris Breese will be on the roster starting in September.

Former Beaver Valley Nitehawks assistant captain and Nelson native Nolan Percival will join the Selkirk College Saints for the 2018-2019 season. A speedy forward will study in the School of University Arts & Sciences.

“We have excellent hockey programs in our region with a wealth of Kootenay International Junior Hockey League [KIJHL] teams that have helped us build on our success over the years,” says Heaven, who will be returning behind the bench for his fourth season as head coach. “Getting an opportunity to have these players reach the post-secondary stage of their career is one of the important pillars of our program.”

Percival Reunited With Former Teammates

Percival grew up in the Nelson Minor Hockey Association, played one season with the Major Midget Kootenay Ice and broke into the KIJHL as a 16-year-old with the Nelson Leafs. The 5’9” speedster was traded to the Nitehawks midway through the 2015-2016 season where he went on to help lead the Fruitvale-based team to a league and provincial championship in 2017.

“I chose Selkirk College because my former junior teammates have spoken very highly about the program,” says Percival, who will be studying in the School of University Arts & Sciences. “The success the Saints have enjoyed over the last few years makes it an exciting place to play.”

Percival will be joining former teammates Tyler Hartman, Devin Nemes and Tallon Kramer in the Saints dressing room for the upcoming season. With a total of 230 games played in the KIJHL over a five-year junior career, Percival brings a load of experience to Selkirk College.

“Nolan is a hard working great two-way player and one that we feel will be extremely useful in all situations,” says Heaven. “Coming off a very successful campaign from which he received the most sportsmanlike award for the KIJHL, we know that he will bring a great deal of experience, but also very strong character to our program.”

Breese Adds Scoring Prowess and Power

Originally from rural Alberta, Breese played two of his final three junior seasons with the Castlegar Rebels. This past season he finished in the top-10 of league scoring with 21 goals and 38 assists.

Former Castlegar Rebels forward Chris Breese has committed to Selkirk College for the upcoming BCIHL season. The native of Morinville, Alberta finished tenth in KIJHL scoring last season.

“I have grown to love the West Kootenay and heard great things about the Selkirk College program, the recent success of the Saints speaks for itself,” says Breese, who spent a season in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Drayton Valley Thunder in 2016-2017. “I will bring a 200-foot game and unfinished business. I didn’t have the success in junior hockey that I would have liked and am now more determined to help Selkirk College win another title.”

Breese will start his post-secondary education in the School of Academic Upgrading with an eye on shifting into a trades program. At 6’2” and 200 pounds, the 20-year-old is expected to be a force.

“Chris is a big powerful forward with offensive upside,” says Heaven. “He has spent time playing at the Junior A and Junior B level where he had success at both. A proven playoff performer, we feel that Chris will be able to adjust to the BCIHL very quickly. The Saints are very happy to be able to add another player from our hometown Castlegar Rebels organization.”

The Saints finished second overall in the BCIHL regular season in 2017-2018 and lost to Trinity Western University in the championship final series. The Selkirk College team has won four provincial championships over the last six seasons and will begin training camp in early-September.

2018/09/05: Selkirk College Saints Return to the Rink
2018/08/10: Selkirk College Saints Add Bricks to Defensive Core
2018/07/19: Selkirk College Saints Add Tenacious Trio to Roster
2018/07/04: Selkirk College Saints Load Up on Leadership
2018/06/27: Selkirk College Saints Bolster Offence
Exhibition Game
September 22nd, 2018 at 7:15 PM

Nanaimo Ice Centre
Exhibition Game
September 21st, 2018 at 7:30 PM

2 - 1
Selkirk Saints 0 0 0 0 0
Simon Fraser 0 0 0 0 0
Trinity Western 0 0 0 0 0
Victoria 0 0 0 0 0
Mariners 0 0 0 0 0