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Selkirk College Saints Alumni Return for Weekend Tilt

OCT 15 2017

The British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League's newest team will visit the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre this Saturday night with four familiar faces in the line-up as the Vancouver Island University Mariners take on the Selkirk College Saints.

The Selkirk College Saints will welcome back four alumni to Castlegar this Saturday night, but friendly handshakes and reminiscences will be saved for off the ice.

The Vancouver Island University Mariners pay a first-ever visit to the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre and the line-up of the expansion British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) team boasts four players familiar to Selkirk College hockey fans. Last season’s captain Tyler Kerner will be joined by Alex Milligan, Garrett Halls and Jordan Rauser representing their new Nanaimo-based school.

The Selkirk College Saints welcome the Vancouver Island University Mariners to the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre on Saturday night where both former capitain Tyler Kerner (left) and Alex Milligan (right) will be in the visiting team line-up with their new team.

“It will be an exciting night and I’ll be happy to see those guys back in the area,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “They will obviously be amped up to play in front of their old home crowd and show us what they got.”

Both Kerner and Milligan played three seasons for the Saints where their gritty play helped Selkirk College to a pair of BCIHL championships in 2015 and 2016. Halls and Rauser were staples on the Saints blueline last season bringing a strong physical presence to every shift.

“They were all important contributors to our line-up last season,” says Heaven. “I’m looking forward seeing them and catching up a little, but once we get on the ice it’s a different story. We are out there to win a hockey game and friendships will go to the side.”

Dominant Weekend Against Eastern Washington University

The Saints are currently on a three-game winning streak which began with a season opening 6-3 victory over Simon Fraser University and a pair of wins over Eastern Washington University Eagles this past weekend. The Saints crushed the Eagles 7-0 on Saturday night at home and then escaped with a 3-2 win in Cheney, Washington on Sunday afternoon.

“It was great to get a big win at home,” Heaven says of the Saturday home win. “Obviously the game was tilted one way and that’s because we had a real solid effort from the entire team. We had good goal scoring from different players and [Brett] Huber was solid in net when he had to be.”

The Selkirk College Saints scored a pair of victories over the Eastern Washington University Eagles this past weekend to up their regular season record to 3-0. Saints first-year forward Derek McPhail (seen here) recorded the hat trick in Saturday night’s 7-0 victory at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre.

First-year Saints forward Derek McPhail notched a hat-trick in the Saturday game with singles going to Dallas Calvin, Tyler Hartman, Derek Georgopoulos and Dane Feeney.

The Saints didn’t take their foot off the gas in the Sunday afternoon game, but one player made the score seem a lot closer than it should have been.

“We played excellent and their goaltender Austin Brin had a fantastic game for them, to get 57 shots on net and only get three past him is indicative of the way he played,” Heaven says of the road game. “It was an important game for our guys because we absolutely dominated and you get into these kinds of situations where a goaltender plays like that, you can’t get frustrated and you have to chip away.”

Calvin scored the first goal of the game midway through the first period and Eagles forward Colton St. John tied it up late in the period when he beat Saints starter Patrick Zubick. Despite 42 shots on the Eagles net in the first two periods, the tie held until seven minutes remaining in the game when Brady Ward scored to give the Saints the lead. Georgopoulos added insurance with just under two minutes remaining.

“It’s still early in the season,” Heaven says of the strong start. “It can change in a hurry and we need to simply prepare for each game as it comes and make sure the players continue to work on the systems. We will continue to grow as a group and become closer which is an important part of building success.”

The Saints welcome the Vancouver Island University Mariners to the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre on Saturday night. Puck drops at 7 p.m.

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Selkirk College Saints Triumph in Home Opener

OCT 10 2017

The Selkirk College Saints opened the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League season on Friday with an exciting contest against the Simon Fraser University Clan that saw the home side successfully stage an impressive comeback.

If the Selkirk College Saints 2017-2018 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) home opener is any indication, it’s going to be a thrilling rollercoaster ride to finish.

After the ceremonial season opening puck drop Friday night at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre, the Saints spotted the visiting Simon Fraser University Clan a 3-0 first period lead that started just over a minute in when Daniell Lange scored top shelf on Selkirk College starter Brett Huber. Two more goals in 30 seconds late in a period that saw the shots skewed 15-5 in favour of the Clan, put the home side in a deep hole.

Selkirk College Saints first-year forward Derek McPhail (right) feeds the puck to linemate Derek Georgopoulos during Friday night’s BCIHL home opener against the Simon Fraser University Clan at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre.

“I think it was opening game jitters and I’m glad we got those out of the way after the first,” said Saints first-year forward Derek McPhail. “We got stuck playing their game in the first 20 minutes and in the dressing room we talked about working as a group from the d-zone forward. That’s what we did and it worked.”

Hard Work Pays Off for Saints

The trademark of Saints’ hockey is tenacious work ethic and two minutes into the middle frame, it paid off when Derek Georgopoulous stole the puck and got it to McPhail who scored his first BCIHL goal to get Selkirk College on the board. Midway through the period, second-year Saints defenceman Seth Schmidt converted on the powerplay to cut the SFU lead to 3-2. It was at that point that the home crowd became a factor.

“It’s hard for the crowd to stay in it when you go down 3-0 that early, but the fans did a great job of helping us out and we brought them back into it through the way we came out in the second period,” said Saints’ captain Dallas Calvin.

Selkirk College Saints goaltender Brett Huber prepares for a shot from Simon Fraser University defenceman (and former Nelson Junior B Leafs player) Darnel St. Pierre. Huber was the busier of the two goaltenders, facing 32 shots on the night.

With just over four minutes left in the second period, hard work by Calvin in the SFU zone resulted in a turnover and a nice pass to McPhail who scored his second goal of the game to tie the score at threes. With time running out in the second period, Calvin again used his reach to poke a puck away from a Clan defenceman that went to Parker Sharp who beat SFU starter Lyndon Stanwood.

The second period featured plenty of back-and-forth action, but Huber stood tall in a period that saw the Saints outshoot their visitors by the slim margin of 12-11.

Second-year Saints defenceman Gordon Campbell added insurance seven minutes into the third period when his shot from the point beat Stanwood to make the score 5-3. With 41 seconds left in the game, Calvin scored into the empty SFU net to halt any hope for the Clan.

Finding the Right Line Combinations

The victory was a solid team effort, but the Saints’ top line of McPhail, Calvin and Georgopolous showed chemistry that elevated the entertainment value for the substantial crowd that came to support the student athletes.

“He’s a phenomenal player,” McPhail said of Calvin. “If you are open, he’s going to find you and if there is an open lane to the net for him then that’s usually a scoring chance for us.”

Selkirk College Saints captain Dallas Calvin had four points in the home opener and was named the game's first star.

Though still early in the season, Calvin is optimistic the team has made up for the loss of Ryan Edwards who was a major part of the team’s offence for three years before graduating last spring.

“Derek is a super skilled guy and you just have to get him the puck,” said Calvin, a Trail native who is a student in the Business Administration Program. “When you work that hard and you are that talented… good things will come.”

The Saints return to action this Saturday night at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre when they host the Eastern Washington University Eagles starting at 7 p.m. in the first game of a weekend home-and-home.

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Selkirk College Saints Set for Regular Season

OCT 02 2017

The Selkirk College Saints open a brand new hockey season on Friday when they take on the Simon Fraser University Clan as the team begins its journey towards what is hoped to be another championship finish in the second semester.

The Selkirk College Saints enter the 2017-2018 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) regular season with plenty of fresh faces in the line-up, but the tenacity to return a championship to the West Kootenay remains a constant.

Coming off a string of four straight league titles, the Saints were bumped from the post-season in the first round last spring by the Trinity Western University Spartans. With more than half the team graduating from the program, Saints’ head coach Brent Heaven went to work on recruiting players that will help return a provincial championship to the Selkirk College.

The Selkirk College Saints wrapped up their exhibition season with a pair of exciting games at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre this past weekend where they hosted a powerful MacEwan University team from the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. Brandon Sookro (seen here) scored the overtime winner on Friday night to lift the Saints to a 3-2 victory and the visitors exacted revenge on Saturday night with a 6-2 win.

“The intensity that we play with is something that I am extremely excited about,” says Heaven, who is entering his third season as head coach. “We have to work on some parts of the game that keeps that intensity in check, but overall the players we have brought into the program are character guys who compete extremely hard on every single shift.”

Top of mind for Heaven in recruiting is the strength of the junior programs where prospects honed their skills. An example is found just down the highway, where the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Beaver Valley Nitehawks are perennial powerhouses. Three of the new Saints—McCoy Hauck, Tyler Hartman and Devin Nemes—pulled on a Nitehawks jersey last season.

“All of the new players have come from great programs and many were on championship teams where they have good systems, so it doesn’t take much to teach the systems,” says Heaven. “It’s more about getting everyone on the same page.”

Solid Core of Returning Players

Optimism for the return to championship form is also fuelled by the veterans who are back for a second or third year, including offensive threats Dallas Calvin and Dane Feeney who both struggled with significant injuries last season. Calvin led the league in scoring in his 2015-2016 rookie campaign, but missed the entire second half of the season and the playoffs after undergoing shoulder surgery

“I feel like I haven’t missed a step and I’m right where I was last year before the injury,” says Calvin, who grew up in the Trail area. “I’m really excited to be out playing and I can’t wait to see what happens in the months ahead.”

The Saints have two solid goaltenders in third-year netminder Brett Huber (seen here) and first-year Patrick Zubick.

Like his coach, Calvin is optimistic about his new teammates.

“If you are not willing to put in the work, you are not going to be playing,” says Calvin. “Because the roster has 24 players on it, the overall compete level amongst the guys within the team for spots on the ice makes everyone work that much harder when game time comes. We have a lot of leaders on this team who come to this program from different teams and you are not really a leader if you’re not a hard worker.”

The Saints quest to return the BCIHL championship to Selkirk College begins on Friday night with the home opener at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre against the Simon University Clan. Heaven says hockey fans will be in for a treat all season long.

“We have strengths throughout our entire line-up, I don’t see one spot where we have a real weakness,” says Heaven. “From 24 all the way down to one, we are very confident in the group we have this season. Our regular style is an intense, hard hitting, fast skating type of game that the players love to play. And I know the fans love to come out and watch a team with that type of intensity and fire.”

The puck drops Friday night at 7 p.m.

 

 

 

2017/10/15: Selkirk College Saints Alumni Return for Weekend Tilt
2017/10/10: Selkirk College Saints Triumph in Home Opener
2017/10/02: Selkirk College Saints Set for Regular Season
2017/09/12: Selkirk College Saints Trade Sticks for Clubs
2017/06/21: Selkirk College Saints Add Pair with West Kootenay Roots
Regular Season Game
October 21st, 2017 at 7:00 PM
 
Vancouver Island University

 
Castlegar Recreation Centre
FULL SCHEDULE
 
Regular Season Game
October 15th, 2017 at 2:00 PM
 

 
3 - 2
BOX SCORE
 
TEAM GP W L T TP
Selkirk Saints 3 3 0 0 6
Trinity Western 3 2 1 0 4
Simon Fraser 2 1 1 0 2
VIU 2 1 1 0 2
Eastern Washington 3 0 3 0 0
Victoria 1 0 1 0 0