JAN 24 2017
With two straight wins at home, the Selkirk College Saints will now take their grit and intensity on the road for the next month. The Saints earned two important British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) points on Saturday night with an impressive 6-1 victory over the University of Victoria Vikes before a solid home crowd at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex.
With an eye on taking over first place down the stretch, the Saints will play their next four games in the home barns of the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University and Eastern Washington University.
“We are making great progress as a group at this point in the season, and will be putting a lot of focus on the process moving forward,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “This next month will be an important one for our team as we work on building momentum for the playoffs.”
Sporting the team’s retro jersey to mark Selkirk College’s 50th anniversary, Saints defenceman Garrett Halls carries the puck up the ice on Saturday night in a contest against the University of Victoria Vikes. Halls scored the game’s first goal and the Saints went onto a dominant 6-1 victory at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex.
In Saturday night’s win over the Vikes, defenceman Garrett Halls got the offence rolling when he moved in from the point and snapped a shot over the glove hand of UVIC starter Zack Wear five minutes into the game. Midway through the opening 20 minutes, forward Dane Feeney picked up a loose puck behind the net and converted a lightning quick wrap-around to make the score 2-0.
The Vikes registered the first goal of the second period when Shane Kumar beat Selkirk College starter Brett Huber to cut the lead in half seven minutes into the middle frame. But the Saints responded quickly when rookie forward Brady Ward hammered home a shot off the faceoff to regain the two-goal lead. A minute later, Ryan Edwards converted on a nice two-on-one with Wade Johnson to build on the lead, and Troy Maclise added another to make the lead 5-1 after forty minutes. Johnson wrapped up the scoring with three minutes left in the third period to make the final 6-1.
“It was a solid team win,” Heaven says. “Everyone contributed to the test success and defensively we didn’t give Victoria many opportunities which is exactly the kind of all-around effort we need at this point of the season.”
After the weekend action, the Saints remain in third place in the BCIHL standings. With five points separating Selkirk College from first-place Simon Fraser University and two points behind Trinity Western University, the next four road games will be critical for home-ice advantage in the playoffs.
“Our goal is to host the playoffs and we will have every opportunity to make that happen in the next couple weeks,” says Heaven.
As the Saints prepare to defend the BCIHL title for the fourth time, they will do it without star forward Dallas Calvin. Last season’s top scorer underwent shoulder surgery last week and is lost for the remainder of this campaign.
“It’s tough to lose any player for the rest of the season and nobody is more disappointed than Dallas,” said Heaven. “He is an important part of our team’s success, but now is the chance for other players to step up and become more regular contributors. Against Victoria we had six different players score and that is what we are going to need with a player like Dallas out of the line-up.”
The Saints don’t play this coming weekend and will hit the road on the February 3 weekend for games against UVIC and Simon Fraser. The team returns home to the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex on the February 24 weekend when they will host the Vikes for a two-game set.
VIU set to become BCIHL's sixth team following successful membership bid
The British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League is pleased to announce the acceptance of a sixth member team following approval of an application from Vancouver Island University to join the league. The Mariners will begin play in October when the 2017/18 BCIHL season begins.
“The BCIHL is very excited by the strong support that exists for intercollegiate hockey at Vancouver Island University and in the City of Nanaimo,” says BCIHL President Kim Verigin. “VIU has put together a solid leadership group with significant experience and willingness to be a sustainable contributing member of our league.”
“We’re also thrilled to reap the benefits of having a second team on Vancouver Island. The University of Victoria will now have a natural geographic rival and all our teams stand to benefit from increased flexibility and potential cost savings related to travel. This move also supports our league’s goal of expansion to institutions that are committed to long-term success in intercollegiate hockey.”
VIU’s expansion bid was submitted prior to the BCIHL’s Winter Board Meetings in December. At that point, the bid was reviewed and its acceptance was voted upon unanimously by the league’s existing member teams. Subsequent approval from BC Hockey was the final step in the expansion process.
The Mariners will join Eastern Washington University, Selkirk College, Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University and the University of Victoria when the 2017/18 season begins this fall.
“The Mariners are excited to be joining the BCIHL family,” says Mariners Men’s Hockey President & Chief Operating Officer Myles Parsons. “Our goal is to help good student athletes become better student athletes. We will take pride in being cooperative off the ice and competitive on the ice. I’m sure we will have a team that VIU, the BCIHL, BC Hockey and all hockey fans can be proud of.”
“The addition of VIU to the BCIHL marks an exciting time for the league and BC Hockey,” says BC Hockey Chief Executive Officer Barry Petrachenko. “Our intercollegiate league provides competitive, high-caliber hockey to this age group and a second team on Vancouver Island enhances the league schedule and offerings. It is a priority for us to provide opportunities for players beyond their junior and minor hockey careers and expansion such as this is key to the continued growth of this league.”
The groundwork for a Men’s Hockey program at VIU was initiated by Parsons and Steve Paul, who will sere as the team’s Head Coach & General Manager. The team’s membership bid was submitted following extensive discussions with Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo Parks & Recreation, BC Hockey and the BCIHL.
“The motivation to bring hockey to VIU came from having discussions and asking questions in the Nanaimo hockey community and seeing that everyone was willing to support us in many ways,” says Parsons. “We have many volunteers ready to contribute their time and expertise, and we’re already answering calls from student athletes wanting to play hockey for the Mariners.”
The British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League was founded in 2016 and is currently in its 11th season of operation.