Selkirk College Saints Denied Fifth BCIHL Championship

Mar 19 2018
The Selkirk College Saints hockey team fell short in the quest for a fifth British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League crown, but gave the Trinity Western University Spartans a determined effort in the championship series.

The Trinity Western University Spartans claimed its first ever British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) championship with a two-game sweep of the Selkirk College Saints.

Veteran Spartans goaltender Silas Matthys was stellar in shutting down the Saints’ potent offence in the best-of-three championship series as he paced his team to a 5-1 win on Thursday night and a 4-1 series-clinching victory on Friday. Going for their fifth BCIHL championship, the Saints were overpowered by a strong TWU club determined to make history for their school.

“The boys competed hard and there was no quit to our team,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “They showed that they were in the finals for a reason and they deserved to be there. In the end, Trinity Western had a championship team and we were just a little bit short. But the way we played all season, right to the end… I’m extremely proud of this team.”

Selkirk College Saints veteran forward Dane Feeney works hard in the Trinity Western University zone in Thursday night’s 5-1 loss. The Saints could not tame the Spartans’ attack in the BCIHL final and lost the championship final in two straight. (photo courtesy Mark Janzen/Trinity Western University).

In Thursday night’s championship series opener, the Spartans jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Jordan Rendle beat Selkirk College starter Patrick Zubick three minutes into the first period. First-year Saints forward Parker Sharp evened the score four minutes later on the powerplay when he got one past a stingy Matthys. Trailing 3-1 heading into the third period, the Saints peppered the TWU with 14 shots, but could not find the back of the net.

“We put a tonne of shots on the net, with more than 80 in the two games,” Heaven says. “To only be able to score two goals over the series, Silas Matthys was obviously a major factor in the outcome.”

Trinity Western University a Powerhouse

Facing a must-win, the Saints came out firing in Game Two on Friday night with 22 shots in the opening period, but it was Trinity Western who emerged with the 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes. Saints captain Dallas Calvin cut the deficit to 2-1 with a powerplay goal in the middle frame, but the Spartans were determined to avenge losses in the championship finals in both 2016 and 2017 and cemented the victory with a pair of goals on Zubick in the third period.

“They have program which benefits from players that play four or five years at this level… guys like Matthys and [former Selkirk College Saints defenceman] Stefan Gonzales,” says Heaven. “Most of our guys are here for one or two years, so a team like Trinity Western is able to build a lot of chemistry and it showed.”

The Saints won four straight BCIHL championships between 2013 and 2016, earning the most recent over Trinity Western University.


Selkirk College Saints Book Spot in BCIHL Championship Series

Mar 12 2018
The Selkirk College Saints hockey team will be looking to reclaim the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League championship this coming weekend in Langley against the Trinity Western University Spartans after a thrilling end to the semi-final series in Castlegar on Saturday night.

Selkirk College Saints first-year forward Tyler Hartman scored 13 minutes into overtime on Saturday night at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex to eliminate the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners from the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) playoffs and claim a spot in the championship final series.

After a 5-3 Saints victory on Friday night to open the best-of-three semi-final, the Mariners battled hard in Game Two in an effort to stave off elimination. Trailing 3-2 late in the third period, Saints forward Logan Styler tied the score with 49 seconds remaining in regulation time which cued Hartman’s OT heroics.

“It’s a bit of blank… I saw the puck right there beside the crease and I just went for it,” Hartman said after the game when asked to describe his goal. “It went in and I’m very happy about that.”

Selkirk College Saints forward Tyler Hartman gets a shot on Vancouver Island University Mariners goalie Brett Clark in the second period of Saturday night’s British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League semi-final at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre. Though Hartman was denied on this opportunity, he scored the overtime winner that has propelled the Saints to the league championship series.

VIU goaltender Brett Clark took the loss, but the former Trail Smoke Eaters puck-stopper was stellar throughout the game turning away 45 shots, including 12 in the overtime period. Both Clark and Hartman grew up in Grand Prairie, Alberta and have played together in their hometown and with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

“We had a lot of chances out there and Brett Clark is a very good goaltender, so it felt good to see that one finally go in,” said Hartman, who was the game’s first-star and had several opportunities denied by Clark throughout the game.

VIU Puts Up Strong Fight

The Mariners came out with enthusiasm from the opening face-off on Saturday night, throwing 13 shots on Selkirk College starter Patrick Zubick in the opening 20 minutes. Kobe Oishi scored the first goal of the game on the powerplay midway through the opening frame.

The Saints stormed back in the second period, starting with a nice goal by Jonas Horvath on the powerplay eight minutes in. Horvath’s hard work ten minutes later led to Styler’s first goal of the game after Clark was caught out of position and a wide open net became available to the former Castlegar Rebels sniper who made no mistake to make it 2-1 for the Saints.

Saints defenceman Seth Schmidt carries the puck into the Mariners zone during the first period of Saturday's game.

With time ticking away on their season, the Mariners pushed back hard in the third period. First, former Saints forward Alex Milligan stuffed a rebound past Zubick seven minutes into the period. With just under three minutes left in regulation time, Mariners forward Alex Hanson got the go-ahead goal when he secured a funny bounce off the boards.

With Zubick on the bench for the extra attacker, Styler’s second goal of the game sent the substantial crowd into a roar.

“We worked this hard all season to get to this point,” assistant captain Parker Wakaruk said about the mood on the Saints’ bench heading into overtime. “I think everyone in the dressing room knew we had enough in our tanks to get it done. This is why we put in all the extra effort throughout the season with dryland and working hard in practice. You put in those extra hours of work for situations like overtime.”

Saints Enter Championship Series as Underdogs

The Saints will now take on the Trinity Western University Spartans in the best-of-three BCIHL championship series which takes place this coming weekend (March 16 to 18) in the Lower Mainland. The Spartans had the best regular season record, but have lost the last three out of four final series. The Langley-based team is still seeking its first ever BCIHL trophy.

Mariners forward Tyler Kerner and younger brother Logan Kerner embrace at the end of the game. The brothers battled each other hard all season and the playoffs were do different. Before heading to Vancouver Island, Tyler Kerner was the captain of the Saints and won two BCIHL championships with Selkirk College.

The Saints enter the final series as underdogs, having lost four of five games to the Spartans this past season. Looking to reclaim the title after winning four in a row between 2013 and 2016, the Saints will look to big-game experience as an equalizer. The Saints have six players who have already won a BCIHL championship in 2016—Dallas Calvin, Dane Feeney, Derek Georgopoulos, Nelson Hurry, Horvath and Brett Huber—along with a dressing room full of players who have claimed titles in other leagues, including OT hero Hartman who helped Beaver Valley to the KIJHL championship in 2017.

“There is a lot of leadership and experience in our dressing room, that’s huge,” says Zubick, who was instrumental in backstopping the Dryden Ice Dogs to a Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) championship in Ontario last season before arriving to Selkirk College. “We all know what it takes to win games like this and nobody is going to be crumbling under the pressure.”

Game One of the BCIHL championship final will go Thursday night (7:30 p.m.) at the George Preston Recreation Centre in Langley. You can arrange to watch the live webcast of all three games at Game Two will be played Friday and Game Three set for Saturday if necessary.


Selkirk College Saints to Open Playoffs at Home

Mar 05 2018
Needing a win to lock up second place in the standings and host the first round of the playoffs, the Selkirk College Saints came through with a 5-1 victory against Vancouver Island University. The Saints will how host the league semi-final at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex.

The Selkirk College Saints will begin their pursuit of British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) history at home this Friday night when they open the post-season against the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners.

After winning four straight league championships and establishing the BCIHL gold standard, the Saints’ drive-for-five came to a sudden halt last March when they were knocked out of the playoffs by Trinity Western University. The student athletes have a shot at redemption when the puck drops on the best-of-three BCIHL semi-final on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Mariners at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex.

The Selkirk College Saints last regular season home game against Vancouver Island University on Saturday was also Alumni Night at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex. Former Saints came out to watch the home team capture a 5-1 decision. The ceremonial puck drop featured several former Saints including Logan Proulx (middle with puck) who helped the team to three straight BCIHL titles between 2013 and 2015. Current captain Dallas Calvin (right) took the faceoff against former Saints captain Tyler Kerner (left) who now plays for VIU.

“This is what we have been working towards since we pulled this group together in August,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “It’s been a bit of a wild regular season with plenty of ups and downs. Now we have two weeks to show that this team has the right mix to bring a championship back to Castlegar.”

Saints Turn Up Heat to Clinch Second

The Saints needed to beat VIU in the last regular season game on Saturday night in Castlegar to ensure a second-place finish and home ice during the first round. Before a crowd that featured former players brought together for the annual Alumni Night, the home side came out determined to send a strong message.

Defenceman Seth Schmidt opened the scoring six minutes into the first period when he recorded a powerplay marker. A minute later, first-year forward Tyler Hartman made the score 2-0 and before the period ended captain Dallas Calvin scored the Saints’ third goal. The Saints peppered VIU starting goaltender Brett Clark with 19 shots in the opening frame.

Selkirk College Saints captain Dallas Calvin scored three goals in Saturday night's game to put an exclamation mark on a regular season that saw the Trail native lead the league in scoring. Calvin finished with 41 points to finish five ahead of Beau Walker from Eastern Washington University.

“We’ve had some slow starts this season and it has come back to haunt us,” says Heaven. “The players were not going to leave anything to chance in a game that had such importance.”

Penalty problems in the second period, slowed the Saints progress and opened the door for the Mariners who scored late in the stanza when Kobe Oishi beat Selkirk College starter Patrick Zubick on the powerplay to cut the lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes.

The typically feisty game between the two teams became apparent in the third period, but the Saints didn’t lose focus and dominated play with Calvin adding two more goals to make the final 5-1.

“It was great to see the leadership in our dressing room come through in a big game,” says Heaven. “Everyone knew the importance of home ice for the playoffs and it resulted in one of our best efforts of the season.”

Interesting Post-Season Ahead

On Friday, the league announced that the Simon Fraser University Clan forfeited 19 points after it was determined that an ineligible player competed in 11 regular season games. That knocked the Clan—who were destined to be the Saints semi-final opponent—down to fifth place in the standings and moved VIU up to third place.

The Mariners are a first-year BCIHL team, but have quickly established a spirited rivalry with the Saints. Several former Saints now suit up for VIU, including last year’s captain Tyler Kerner, which has added an extra level of intensity during their contests. With a 17-8-0-0 record, the Mariners finished four points behind the Saints who finished the season with a record of 18-5-0-2. The season series between the two teams saw the Saints emerge with a 4-1 advantage.

First-year Saints defenceman and Nelson Minor Hockey Association graduate Cole Arcuri moves the puck up the ice.

“They are a very good team that exceeded the expectations of many,” says Heaven. “I’m expecting a great series, we will have to play our best hockey of the season if we want to move onto the league championship.”

In the other league semi-final, first-place Trinity Western University will take on defending champion University of Victoria, who were out of the playoff picture until last week’s SFU decision.

“Home ice advantage in the playoffs is massively important for our team because we have the best fans in the league,” says Heaven. “The energy in the arena helps the players on the ice and they are looking forward to this coming weekend.”

Friday night’s Game One starts at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s game starts at 4:00 p.m. in order to accommodate the Castlegar Rebels KIJHL playoff game against the Nelson Leafs. If a Game Three is necessary, it will be played at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. All games are at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex.

The Saints are in pursuit of their fifth BCIHL championship title which would make them the most decorated team in league history.

2018/03/19: Selkirk College Saints Denied Fifth BCIHL Championship
2018/03/12: Selkirk College Saints Book Spot in BCIHL Championship Series
2018/03/05: Selkirk College Saints to Open Playoffs at Home
2018/02/26: Selkirk College Saints Shoot for Home-Ice to Open BCIHL Playoffs
2018/02/19: Selkirk College Saints Look to Set Tone for Post-Season


BCIHL Finals, Game 2 (TWU wins 2-0)
March 16th, 2018 at 7:00 PM

4 - 1
Trinity Western 25 21 3 0 43
Selkirk Saints 25 18 5 0 38
Mariners 25 17 8 0 34
Victoria 25 8 15 0 18
Simon Fraser 25 8 16 0 17
Eastern Washington 25 3 21 0 7