The Selkirk College Saints opened their B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League preseason schedule on a winning note Friday night, topping the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack by a 4-3 score at the Castlegar Recreation Complex.
The home win against the perennial BCIHL contenders marked an excellent start to the exhibition slate for a revamped Saints line-up that featured 17 rookies amongst the 20 players who dressed for Friday’s game.
TRU opened the scoring on a first period man-advantage when former Castlegar Rebels forward Anthony Delong poked home a rebound past Saints starter Chris Hurry to give the WolfPack an early lead. But the Saints responded in the dying moments of the frame on a power play of their own, as Thomas Hardy tied the score off a scramble in front of the TRU net with just 1.2 seconds remaining before intermission.
The Saints took over the game in the second period, establishing a 4-2 lead through a pair of goals from blue-liner Dylan Smith and a single from Trail product Logan Proulx. Selkirk out-shot their visitors by a 15-9 margin for the frame and dominated for stretches, as the Saints came close to extending their lead on a number of scoring opportunities.
The third period saw the Saints continue to control the territorial possession, with WolfPack netminder Adrien Hervillard turning aside a series of point-blank chances. And Thompson Rivers made the game interesting when an Alessio Tomassetti marker off a goal-mouth scramble brought the ‘Pack within one with 2:32 remaining in regulation. But the Saints managed to turn away a handful of late chances, including a key breakaway save from Hurry, to pick up the win.
“I’m very pleased with tonight’s result and the overall effort we saw from a group of players who wanted to make a positive impression on the 200+ fans who came out to support our team,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “TRU is always a tough opponent and they showed tonight why they’re consistently a contending team in the BCIHL. But our guys made it clear that they wanted this game and showed the effort and energy that we’ll need to see on a consistent basis on order to meet our high expectations for the season.”
Hurry picked up the win in goal for the Saints, stopping 27 shots. Hervillard, meanwhile, took the loss after allowing a pair of goals in relief of starter Riley Wall.
The Saints will return to the ice on Sunday, September 30th at 2:00 PM when Eastern Washington University visits the Castlegar Recreation Complex to wrap the preseason campaign. Selkirk then begins its’ regular season schedule on October 5th with a visit to the University of Victoria.