Saints split with Vikes in season opening weekend

Selkirk College Saints men's hockey team split with the University of Victoria (UVic) in opening weekend BCIHL action.

Nick Cecconi of Selkirk College shoots the puck at the net in the Saints game against UVic on Friday night.

Nick Cecconi of Selkirk College shoots the puck at the net in the Saints game against UVic on Friday night.

The Selkirk Saints accepted the challenge head on as they welcomed the University of Victoria (UVic) Vikes to town for their first home games of the 2011‐12 BCIHL season. The new edition of the Selkirk College squad was one period away from earning a four point weekend.

“It was pretty good. We got the split,” said Saints’ winger Jordan Wood, who led the team with four goals on the weekend. “We played really well the first night. We had a good start on the second night but then kind of fell apart.”

The Saints looked great on all accounts after unveiling their new jerseys in Friday’s match up. In the opening period, Wood picked up his first of three goals after finishing off a beautiful passing play started by Devon Nazaroff (Crescent Valley) and Adam Makaroff (South Slocan). Andrew Green (Penticton), the Saints most recent addition, broke a 1‐1 tie in the second after he jumped on a miscue by Vikes goaltender Taylor Pears. Heading into the third with a 2‐1 lead, the Saints could do little wrong and Wood completed the hat trick early in the frame with two goals in a minute and a half. Assists went to Andrew Green and Jago (2).

“I was in the right spot at the right time,” said Wood. “The puck just seemed to come to me.”

Returning goaltender Spenser Wong (Calgary) had a great outing as he earned the 4‐2 win stopping 35 of 37 shots.

In Saturday’s contest, the second of the double header, the Saints pressured their way to a 2‐1 lead after first period goals from newcomers Nick Cecconi (Powell River) and Jordan Wood (Cloverdale) who earned his fourth tally of the weekend. In the second stanza the Saints got into penalty trouble and this along with a few mental mistakes allowed the Vikes to explode for three goals. Down by two heading into the final period, the Saints had a glorious opportunity to close the gap early but a failure to score on a five on three power play sealed the deal for UVIC. Scott Jago (Castlegar) added a late power play goal on a fabulous top corner backhand shot but it was too little to late with the final score ending 6‐3 in favour of the Vikes.

“We ran into penalty trouble and got off our game a little bit,” said Wood.

Wood, who is in his first year with the Saints after playing last year for the junior ‘B’ Kelowna Chiefs and the junior ‘A’ Westside Warriors, thought the team showed great improvement after their first league games.

“We skated well and moved the puck,” he said. “We were finishing our checks and we were getting pucks to the net.”

 

Saints next home game is 7:30pm Friday, October 21 when they host Okanagan College at the Castlegar Complex.