The Selkirk College Saints Men’s Hockey program will look to continue its hot start to the 2012/13 season on Friday night when they host Trinity Western University from Langley, B.C. in the team’s home opener at the Castlegar Recreation Complex (7:30 PM faceoff).
The Saints are coming off a pair of dramatic one-goal victories on the road against the University of Victoria, the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League’s defending champions. Selkirk got the better of a 4-3 scoreline against their Vancouver Island hosts on Friday night before completing the two-game series sweep with a 5-4 overtime triumph on Saturday.
Trinity Western, meanwhile, will be looking for their first win of the season following a pair of home ice defeats to Eastern Washington (by a 3-0 score) and Thompson Rivers (8-6). The Spartans boast a pair of former BCHL captains in Tyler Miller (Chilliwack) and Brad Bakken (Langley) on their blueline, while forwards Jamie Russell (Miramichi, MHL) and Jamey Kreller (Sicamous, KIJHL) each potted a pair of goals during the team’s opening weekend homestand.
“TWU is a hard-working, defensively strong team who will come out hungry on Friday night as they go after their first win,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “Their 8-6 loss to TRU on the weekend was uncharacteristic; they tend to be a tough, no-nonsense group that plays the game smart. They’re well-coach by a former NHLer (Dwayne Lowdermilk) and I’m sure they’ll make us work for whatever we get.”
The Saints received contributions from throughout their line-up against UVic, as no less than nine players put up multiple points during the weekend. Their offence was boosted by solid contributions from the back-end, as Dylan Smith and Sandro Moser combined for five points and rookie Lucas Hildebrand fired home the game winner in overtime on Saturday.
One focus for Selkirk on Friday night will be to avoid the penalty box, as they gave up 23 power plays to the Vikes over two games to open the season. The Saints killed off those opportunities at an 87% success rate, but Dubois says the time they spent shorthanded hurt the team in other areas.
“We’ve got a deep group of forwards and we’d like to roll our lines and keep everyone involved, but spending six or eight minutes killing penalties in a period means that certain guys aren’t getting on the ice,” says head coach Jeff Dubois. “We can chalk up the high number of penalties against UVic to having so many guys adjusting to BCIHL officiating, but we need to see a quick improvement in our discipline.”
Tickets for Friday’s game will be available at the door for $8 (Adults) and $5 (Selkirk students & staff, seniors, children 6 & older). Season passes will also be available at special rates on Friday night. For more information on Saints single game tickets and passes, visit GoSaints.ca.
SAINTS NOTES: Selkirk defenceman Lucas Hildrebrand was named an Honourable Mention for the BCIHL’s Player of the Week award on Monday after his OT tally two days earlier. He also played a steady, physical game in both of his team’s wins.