Selkirk College will look to head into the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League’s winter break with a win and set a new league record in the process when they host the University of Victoria on Saturday night at the Castlegar Rec Complex (7:30 PM).
A victory against the Vikes would run the Saints’ regular season record to 12-0 and tie the BCIHL’s all-time longest winning streak. UVic set the existing mark with a dozen straight wins during the 2006/07 season.
But the opposition on Saturday is a Vikes squad that has gotten hot near the end of their fall calendar. Victoria has won three of their last four heading into weekend play, including a 3-2 overtime win over Simon Fraser University last Saturday on home ice.
“UVic started the season slowly but we’re starting to see why they’re the defending league champions,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “They have a solid core back from last season’s team and they added some very good Junior A grads who have bolstered their offence. They’re also one of the hardest working teams I’ve seen and we’ll need to match their intensity to be successful.”
Selkirk is 3-0 against the Vikes so far this season, with a pair of one-goal wins in Victoria and a 10-2 victory at home on October 27th under their belts.
The Saints will come close to icing a full line-up on Saturday after injury troubles sidelined a number of players for last week’s win over Eastern Washington. Forwards Matt Luongo and Thomas Hardy are back after missing two and three games respectively, while steady blueliner Lucas Hildebrand returns from a four-game layoff.
“Last week we played with two natural centres and had to plug in some wingers to fill the holes,” says Dubois. “Getting Lucas back on the blueline is big too. He’s been excellent as a shutdown guy who has excelled playing against other team’s top lines.”
The Vikes have been led offensively by rookie forward Shawn Mueller, who played three seasons in the BCHL with Cowichan Valley and Quesnel. Mueller has 13 points through 10 games, while former AJHL captain Evan Warner sits third in team scoring with nine points.
Selkirk continues to occupy a great deal of space amongst the BCIHL’s scoring leaders, with Jordan Wood and Logan Proulx leading the way in first and second. Kam Crawford continues to lead all league defencemen in scoring with 17 points, while Dylan Smith sits close behind with 14.
Tickets for Saturday’s games will be available at the door for $8 (Adults) and $5 (Selkirk students & staff, seniors, children 6 & older). Season passes are also still available at special rates on game nights. For more information on Saints single game tickets and passes, visit GoSaints.ca.