Home ice continues to be as close as you can get to a sure thing for the Selkirk College men’s hockey program, which ran its regular season winning streak to five with an emphatic 8-1 win over Thompson Rivers University at the Castlegar Recreation Centre on Saturday night.
One night after pasting the WolfPack by an 11-0 score, the Saints offence continued to produce big results in large part due to a power-play that netted five goals on nine opportunities.
Selkirk opened the scoring just 23 seconds into regulation when Dylan Smith’s point shot eluded TRU starter Adrien Hervillard. Smith then set up defence partner Kam Crawford’s first of the season on a man-advantage with 8:30 on the clock in the opening period.
The WolfPack netted their first and only goal of the weekend midway through the second period when a Colten DeFrias shot took a deflection past Saints netminder Alex Sirard. But Selkirk regrouped quickly, as Cody Fidgett made no mistake on a penalty shot awarded just 43 seconds later after a TRU player was judged to have closed his hand on the puck in his team’s crease. And the hosts extended their lead to three with just six seconds remaining in the second when Connor McLaughlin beat Hervillard from the low slot.
The Saints opened the third period with another power-play marker off the stick of Mason Spear, and McLaughlin, Thomas Hardy and Scott Swiston each added to the rout in the closing frame.
Alex Sirard was strong in net when called upon one night after pitching the Saints’ first-ever shutout in BCIHL play. He turned aside 22 shots on the night and was especially strong when the WolfPack pushed forward in stretches during the second period. Sirard is now 3-0 to open the season.
“We knew heading into tonight’s game that TRU would make some adjustments and come out stronger than they had on Friday, and our group did an excellent job of handling some early pressure and dictating the play on their home ice,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “TRU is always a tough and competitive team in our league and I’m sure their best hockey is ahead of them, but this weekend our guys stuck to a simple gameplan and found success by being determined to out-work and out-skate a very capable opponent. We’ve seen very good team efforts every night out to start the regular season and we’ll continue to be successful if our work ethic and focus stays at this high level.”
Dylan Smith and Cody Fidgett both finished the night with a goal and two assists, while Crawford, McLaughlin, Spear, Swiston, Hardy and Wood all chipped in two points.
The Saints close out their schedule for the month on Saturday, October 27th when the University of Victoria visits the Castlegar Recreation Complex. Faceoff is set for 7:30 PM. The match-up concludes a four-game homestand for the Saints, who will then travel on back-to-back weekends in early November before returning to home ice on the 24th. Tickets for Saturday’s game are 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.
SAINTS NOTES: Home ice advantage? The Saints have now outscored opponents by a margin of 25-2 in their three home games to open the regular season. Including a pair of home exhibition games against BCIHL opponents, that margin jumps to 35-6.
With Saturday’s victory, Selkirk moved to 5-0 and matched their wins total from the entire 2011/12 regular season. Last year’s Saints squad finished 5-19.
Eight Saints players are currently in the BCIHL’s Top 10 in scoring after their 19-goal weekend. Jordan Wood, Logan Proulx and Dylan Smith are tied for the league lead with nine points, while Cody Fidgett and Thomas Hardy (9 points), Kam Crawford (8 points), and Beau Taylor and Scott Swiston (7 points) are also on the list. Keep in mind, however, that Selkirk is tied for the league lead in games played with five.