Saints gain road split of sorts

Selkirk Saints - Selkirk Saints
Selkirk Saints
— image credit: Selkirk Saints

The Selkirk College Men's Hockey program began the 2014 portion of their B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League regular season schedule with a pair of road games against first place rivals this past weekend, beating Thompson Rivers University by a 3-1 score before falling to Simon Fraser University 4-3 in a shootout.

On Friday, the Saints fell behind TRU on a first period power-play marker but rebounded with goals in the second from Tanner Lenting, Logan Proulx and Beau Taylor. Selkirk controlled play much of the night, outshooting the WolfPack in all three periods including a 20-9 margin over the final 40 minutes.

Chris Hurry picked up the win in goal, turning aside 17 shots. Former Saints netminder Stephen Wolff took the loss in the TRU crease despite a strong 27-save performance.

"We asked the guys to compete hard for a full 60 minutes on Friday night and they came through," says Selkirk head coach Jeff Dubois. "TRU is a tough team to play in their rink, but we limited their shots and scoring opportunities and created some good chances over the second half of the game. Our offence carried us on a lot of nights in the fall, but you can't count on that every game. It was satisfying to get two points on the road due to a very solid defensive effort."

On Saturday, the Saints and Clan -- both with 11-3-0 records -- faced off for first place in Burnaby. Stefan Gonzales scored with the man-advantage midway through the first period and Logan Proulx doubled the lead before intermission. But SFU rebounded in the second and scored a pair of goals before taking their first lead of the night with 4:45 remaining in the third. Proulx came through again for the Saints, however, converting a pass through the slot from Jackson Garrett to tie the game with 2:06 to play.

Neither team scored during a back-and-forth overtime frame, and SFU would go on to take the win after Jono Ceci and Trevor Milner each beat Chris Hurry on shootout attempts.

"We put together very good road periods in the first and third but fell asleep a bit in the second and paid the price for some careless mistakes," says Dubois. "SFU has a ton of skill and they're going to capitalize when you give them the opportunity. We outshot them in the rink and had the better chances, so it stings a bit to lose the way we did. First place is one of our core goals this season and it's still under our control to make that happen, so we'll move on and prepare for tough games next weekend."

Selkirk now sits one point behind the Clan in second place and also holds a one-point lead on third place TRU. The Saints and SFU have both played 15 games, giving them two games in hand on Thompson Rivers.

Selkirk College hosts Eastern Washington University on Friday, 8 p.m. at the Castlegar Complex before traveling to Spokane on Saturday to complete the home-and-home series.

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