Sports

Saints primed for series with Wolfpack

Selkirk Saints celebrate with win and first place position in the BCIHL. Scott Swiston gives Stefan Gonzales a high five. - Derek Kaye
Selkirk Saints celebrate with win and first place position in the BCIHL. Scott Swiston gives Stefan Gonzales a high five.
— image credit: Derek Kaye

After finishing the 2013/14 regular season on a nine-game winning streak and grabbing first place in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League standings in their final game, the Selkirk College Men’s Hockey program is looking to carry over their late-season success into a first round playoff match-up against Thompson Rivers University.

The series begins with Game 1 set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Castlegar Rec Complex. The Saints will host the entire best-of-three semi-finals, with Game 2 on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Game 3, if necessary, to be played at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets for all Selkirk playoff games will be available in advance at Mallards Source for Sports in Castlegar or at the Recreation Counter at Selkirk’s Castlegar campus, as well as at the door on game nights. Playoff tickets are $10 for Adults and $6 for Selkirk students & staff, seniors, and children/youth 6 & older. All three games against the WolfPack can also be viewed live online at www.FastHockey.com.

TRU enters the playoffs looking for the answer to a January and February slide that has seen the team string together 10 straight losses and plummet from a tie for first to fourth place in the BCIHL standings.

But the Saints have seen firsthand that the WolfPack have the ability to challenge the league’s top teams. Selkirk dropped a 5-2 decision in Kamloops in October and squeaked out a 3-2 shootout victory on the road in the last meeting between the teams on February 15th.

“TRU has had about as much bad luck come their way this season as I’ve seen in our league going back seven or eight years,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “They’ve gone through stretches where the injury bug has hit and they’ve lost some key players since the fall semester, but there’s still a ton of skill and depth on that roster and we won’t get caught taking them lightly.”

“Most players and coaches have experienced a tough run like they’re on, and you’re always looking for that first sign of momentum and positive things happening to get it turned in the right direction. It’s our job not to give them that.

“We’ve played very good hockey at home all season, and we’re optimistic about our chances against any team if we play with the energy and work ethic that has led to those results.”

The Saints finished the 2013/14 regular season with a 12-0 home record and have strung together a 25-game home winning streak overall. Selkirk scored 74 goals in those 12 games this season while allowing just 17, and allowed more than two goals in a game at the Castlegar Rec Complex just once.

The Saints offence has been led by the trio of Logan Proulx, Connor McLaughlin and Cody Fidgett, who finished third, fourth and fifth respectively in league scoring this season.

McLaughlin and Fidgett tied for the BCIHL goals lead with 22 each, while teammates Darnell Dyck (8th), Thomas Hardy (12th), Jackson Garrett (14th), Beau Taylor (16th), Scott Swiston (18th) and Tanner Lenting (20th) all cracked the league’s Top-20 in points.

In goal, the Saints have seen second-year netminder Chris Hurry thrive as the team’s starter. The 22-year old impressed over the first half of the season and went on to post a 9-0-1 record in starting 10 of the team’s last 11 regular season games.

Hurry led all BCIHL goaltenders in a number of statistical categories this season, including wins (14), shutouts (3), goals-against average (1.87) and save-percentage (.925).

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