The Selkirk Saints must be looking forward to the next two games against the Trinity Western Spartans after the first of what will be three in a row with the Langley-based team was a lopsided 6-0 shutout for the Saints on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Castlegar Community Complex.
What looked to be a fairly even matchup through the first half of the opening period quickly changed at the 10:25 mark. Forward Cody Fidgett beat Trinity’s starter Harry Fredeman from in front on a quick wrister on a nice pass from Logan Proulx and then, just 22 seconds after the restart, he was beat again when Garrett Kucher went tape-to-tape to Darnell Dyck.
The Saints almost capitalized minutes later when Scott Swiston, who had been off for cross-checking, joined the rush out of the box and just about converted a third goal.
In the second period, the pipes around Fredeman helped contain the Saints, but only slightly. A total of three clanged off the posts and crossbar for the Saints in the period, as they applied steady pressure all over the ice.
Chris Hurry, starting in goal for Selkirk, was sharp on the 23 shots he faced on the night, including tracking the puck nicely in close, stopping a cute passing play at the side of his net when Trinity Western was on the first of two power play opportunities in the period.
A frustrated Trinity team appeared out of sorts and slightly disorganized at times in the middle frame. When Micah Cockrill started engaging Saints at both ends of he ice, officials stepped in more than once to ensure hockey was played and cooler heads prevailed.
What didn’t cool down was the offensive play by the Saints.
At 8:25 Fidgett was again the recipient of a perfect pass from Proulx who made no mistake on his second of the night all alone in front of the Spartans net.
A scant 42 second later, Proulx notched his third and final point of the night on the Saints fourth goal. Shorthanded, he delivered to Dyck at the top of the circle, whose controlled slap shot whistled into the twine. With four goals and nine assists, Proulx’s 13 points have him just two back of Thompson Rivers University’s Joshua MacDonald in the points race.
After 40 minutes, the 4-0 lead remained intact and they went to the dressing room knowing they were going to start the third with a 1:29 man advantage after Trevor Beaupre went off late for tripping. While the Saints didn’t convert on that opportunity, Mason Spear poked in a loose puck while on the power play at 7:39 — Fidgett factored in on the scoring again with an assist on the play — and the Saints were in full cruise mode with a five-goal lead.
The sizeable crowd was rooting for a hat-trick from either Fidgett or Dyck and the latter happily obliged with just 22 seconds remaining in regulation.
“We headed into tonight’s game off a couple of losses and our whole group came out prepared to dictate the speed and tempo of the game,” said Saints head coach Jeff Dubois in a release. “TWU is a hard-working team that can be very difficult to break down defensively, and even when you do they’ve got one of the top goalies in the league to stop the puck. Tonight we made some skilled plays, but we were also tough to defend in how we moved our feet and cycled the puck. It’s really how we need to play night in, night out to be successful on a consistent basis.”
The shutout was Hurry’s second of the season and he is now ranked second in the BCIHL with a 1.67 GAA and 0.936 SV %. On the other side, Fredeman faced 53 shots.
The win was the fifth straight for the Saints at home this season.
“Getting wins at home is something that we pride ourselves on,” said Dubois. “We have great fans and the guys very much appreciate and feed off of the energy in the building on game nights. There’s certainly an extra motivation to perform when you’re receiving such tremendous support.”
Selkirk and TWU will face off again on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.) at the Langley Events Centre. Both games can be viewed online at www.FastHockey.com.
The Saints’ next home game is on Saturday, Nov. 16 against Simon Fraser University (7:30 p.m.)