Selkirk College’s Saints were front and centre Wednesday afternoon among a crowd of proud family, friends and community members.
The occasion: a well-deserved celebration rally at the college for the Saints’ amazing three-peat. The Saints are the first team in the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League to win three championships in a row. They team defeated Simon Fraser University this month to take the top spot again.
Mayor Lawrence Chernoff was on hand to offer his congratulations and express his respect for the players.
“You should be extremely proud of yourselves for all that you’ve accomplished this season. You are all a great source of community pride.
“On a personal note, I was extremely pleased to have two of you come to my house and just say thank you. These kinds of things mean a lot to me and the community. I wish you the best in the coming seasons.”
The cause for celebration doesn’t end with the championship victory.
Selkirk College forward Ryan Edwards has been named the BCIHL’s 2015 playoff MVP.
Edwards was at the centre of Selkirk’s offensive attack in series sweeps over the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser, scoring six goals in four games — including three game-winners.
The rookie winger made his presence known in his very first BCIHL playoff contest, tipping home a point shot in overtime to give Selkirk a 1-0 series lead on the Vikes.
In Game 1 of the BCIHL finals, his hat trick accounted for all of the Saints’ offence in a 3-1 victory over SFU, while his late second period marker in Game 2 also held as the winner.
“Ryan was a key member of our team all season and he played his best hockey when the games counted most,” says Saints head coach Alex Evin. “He established himself as our MVP over the second half and stepped up and scored the big goal whenever we needed it.”
Edwards’ six tallies tied a BCIHL record for goals in a single postseason, matching former SFU star Jaime Laprise, who set the mark in 2009.
The 2015 BCIHL playoff all-star team was also announced, with Edwards joining Selkirk College teammates Logan Proulx, Stefan Gonzales and James Prigione along with SFU’s Adam Callegari and Jared Eng.
Before autographs and pizza at yesterday’s rally, Proulx took the microphone.
“This is a pretty big achievement for us,” he said. “We spend our lives playing the game we love and get to come to school and keep playing. The support we have, from the college, the faculty the community, it’s absolutely amazing.
“We just go out there and chase a piece of rubber. There are so many people to thank I can’t even begin. We’re just so happy we can go out there and have this opportunity.”