The Selkirk College Saints will return to the ice on Saturday against Simon Fraser University looking to extend their perfect B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League regular season record following a long six-week layoff. Faceoff is set for 7:30 PM at the Castlegar Recreation Complex.
But there’s no easing back into the second half of the season for the Saints, as the Clan sit just three points back in the league standings with a 10-1-1 record and has an opportunity to cut into that gap when they visit Eastern Washington University on Friday.
“SFU certainly had the jump on us in terms of getting back onto the ice, and they’ll be playing their sixth game since Christmas while we’ll be playing our first,” says Selkirk head coach Jeff Dubois. “That adds to the challenge for us, but it’s not going to be used as an excuse. We’ll need to find our legs quickly on Saturday night and play a smart, disciplined game if we’re going to beat a very good opponent.”
The Saints have faced SFU once this season, charging out to a five-goal lead on the road on November 3rd and holding on for a 5-3 victory.
That win ended the Clan’s 25-game home unbeaten streak, so there’s no doubt that SFU will be motivated to return the favour. With a victory on Saturday night, the Saints would set a new BCIHL record for consecutive wins with 13. Selkirk tied the existing 12-game record when they defeated the University of Victoria in their final game of 2012 in early December.
Dubois says that one benefit of the long break was the chance for players to rehab injuries and return to the ice fully healthy for the stretch drive of the regular season.
“With the exception of Stephen Saretsky, who hasn’t played yet this season, we’re 100% healthy and ready to go. We may make some choices based on what we see from the guys this week in terms of their conditioning, but it’s good to have all our guys available for this first time since early in the season.”
SFU is led offensively by forwards Ben Van Lare and Jono Ceci, who finished first and second in BCIHL scoring last season. They’re joined up the Clan’s top line by three-year WHL product Brenden Silvester, who joined the team at Christmas and has already scored five times in two appearances.
And the Clan are solid in goal as well, with former Vernon Vipers starter and RBC Cup winner Graeme Gordon expected to get the call on Saturday.
Tickets for Saturday’s games will be available at the door for $8 (Adults) and $5 (Selkirk students & staff, seniors, children 6 & older). Season passes are also still available at special rates on game nights. For more information on Saints single game tickets and passes, visit GoSaints.ca.