Selkirk Saints rookie forward and Trail native Dallas Calvin ended the season just as he started it, by earning the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League’s Player of the Week honour.
The former Trail Smoke Eater and Beaver Valley Nitehawk helped the Saints secure home ice in the playoffs and win the BCIHL regular season title with a three-point night in a 4-1 victory over the Eastern Washington University Eagles on Saturday to end the regular season.
The first-year forward opened the scoring midway through the second period on a Selkirk power-play and made the score 3-0 with his second goal at the 10:59 mark of the third. Then, with EWU having closed the gap to two, Calvin set up Ryan Edwards late in the frame to close out the scoring.
Calvin’s two goals and three points left him one short of EWU’s Beau Walker for the BCIHL lead in both categories to finish second with 20 goals and 38 points.
Calvin earned the first BCIHL Player of the Week honour for the 2015-16 season back on Oct. 4, after scoring a hat trick against Trinity Western in the Saints’ first game of the season.
Selkirk College starts their run at a fourth straight BCIHL championship on Friday at the Castlegar Rec Complex when they play a best-of-three series against the University of Victoria Vikings. If successful, the Saints will then host the final, Mar. 18-20, against either Simon Fraser University or Trinity Western.
“The hard work comes in the next couple of weeks and we are looking forward to getting that going,” Saints captain Tanner Lenting told Selkirk College’s Bob Hall. “We have the group in here to do it, it’s just going to be up to us to make it happen.”
The Saints hold a 5-1 record against the Vikes this season, but the visitors come into Castlegar as the hottest team in the league having won five games in a row.
UVIC’s line-up features senior Shawn Mueller who finished third in league scoring and Nelson resident Carsen Willans who ended up eighth spot in the regular season point totals.
The community has embraced the Saints over the last four seasons and the players feed off the large crowds that assemble for all the home games. Trail talent includes Calvin, Edwards, Jamie Vlanich, and Danny Vlanich, in addition to Nelson’s Ryan Sookro and Arie Postmus of Fruitvale.
“There is nothing better than playing at home, especially in this rink and with our fans,” says third-year defenceman Postmus. “If we work hard and do what we are capable of, we should come out on top.”
The best-of-three playoff starts on Friday night at the Castlegar Rec Complex at 7 p.m. and continues Saturday night at the same time. If necessary, the third game will take place on Sunday with the puck drop at 6 p.m.