The Selkirk Saints jumped at another opportunity to give back to the community but this time it was in a place they’ve never been and with kids and teachers they never knew. It also happened to be the birthday of Dr. Suess and the students and staff at Gess Elementary in Chewelah, Washington were gearing up for full day to celebrate the importance of reading and literature.
“We were approached by the principal to see if we were interested in stopping by on our way through to Cheney for the last regular season game against Eastern Washington University,” comments Kim Verigin, Athletic Director. “One of our coaches has relatives in the school so there was an immediate connection and we were more than happy to spend the afternoon with them.”
Saints’ players took turns visiting each classroom where they read and interacted with the kids, many of whom were not that familiar with the sport of ice hockey. Verigin continues, “It was amazing to see how excited these kids were and that many of them have never touched a hockey stick before.” The players ended up signing autographs and playing shinny with the grade 3 and 5 classes. “All in all it was an incredible experience for our guys and one the students and staff will surely remember. We were treated very well!”
The Saints still had one final challenge ahead of them and that was to attempt their first ever series sweep of a BCIHL opponent. In three previous meetings with Eastern, the Saints dominated with a pair of 4-1 wins and most recently another 7-4 victory.
Jordan Wood opened the scoring in the first period with assists from Scott Jago and Nick Cecconi. EWU equalled on a power play marker three minutes later. Tied going into the second, Eastern notched another power play marker at the 16 minute mark but this time it was Selkirk equalling the score at two with four minutes left. The third period was deadlocked until EWU broke the tie with just over seven minutes remaining and the Saints could not respond. Final score was 4-2 with an Eagles empty netter.
The Saints now begin the off season with a major focus on recruiting. They finished the season with a 5-19-0 record and more wins that in any other year. Verigin adds, “the guys battled hard all year long and in most games were shorthanded due to serious long term injuries and untimely departures of certain players. It was frustrating to also see many one goal losses, especially after leading going into the third. Nevertheless, we must take the growing pains in stride and continue to move forward!”
The Saints recently signed PIJHL scoring champion Thomas Hardy and all-star Junior A defenceman Dylan Smith. Jordan Wood was recently named BCIHL First Team All-star. More info can be found at www.bcihl.ca.