It was a thrilling way to finish the first half of the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season this past weekend as the Selkirk College Saints captured four points with pair of overtime wins against the University of Victoria Vikes.
Needing another big home weekend at the Castlegar Recreation Centre to stay near the top of the tight BCIHL standings, the Saints scored a 5-4 overtime shootout victory on Saturday night and followed up with a 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon that took additional time to settle.
Saturday night’s contest featured an exciting comeback by the Saints who dug themselves a 4-1 hole midway through the game. With just over five minutes left in the second period, Selkirk started to fight its way back when Stefan Gonzales scored to cut the Vikes’ lead in half. Before the end of the middle. Saints rookie Alex Milligan made the score 4-3 to send his team into the dressing room with hope.
A hard fought third period had Vikes goaltender Scott Legault thwarting the comeback effort until Darnell Dyck converted with three minutes left to tie the score.
The extra overtime frame didn’t solve anything and the game went into a shootout. Saints starter James Prigione stopped all four Vikes shooters and Milligan played the hero scoring on Selkirk’s fourth shot to win the game.
The Sunday afternoon tilt was another tight contest with the Vikes again setting the tone and eventually scoring first with just over two minutes left in the second period. But before the buzzer sounded, Jackson Garrett scored with just under a minute remaining on the clock.
Victoria took the lead six minutes into third period, but for the second night in a row Dyck scored late in regulation time to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, hulking defenceman Lucas Hildebrand was the hero when he scored three minutes into the extra period.
The two victories kept the Saints regular home winning streak alive at 31 games, but more importantly the four points pushed Selkirk to within striking distance of league leading Trinity Western University who now sit only three points ahead.
Rookie winger Milligan’s impressive weekend nabbed the attention of the league and he was named the BCIHL Player of the Week. Milligan’s shootout goal was clutch, and he also had two key assists to go along with his regulation time goal. The 21-year-old Milligan currently sits third on the team in scoring this season.
The Saints will travel east this coming weekend for a pair of exhibition games against the University of Lethbridge. They return to regular BCIHL action on Jan. 9 when they host the first place Trinity Western University Spartans.