Two key ingredients in the Selkirk College Saints success in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) over the last three seasons is support from family and community.
The Saints host the University of Victoria Vikes this weekend at the Castlegar & District Community Complex, the team’s last home games of the first semester.
In recognition of those who play a vital role behind the scenes and in the stands, the three-time defending league champions have planned both a Fan Appreciation Night and Parent Weekend.
“The student athletes who compete for the Saints come from near and far,” says Selkirk College Athletics & Recreation Coordinator Kim Verigin. “We are looking forward to welcoming the families of the new and veteran players on the team. A hockey team is like a family and everybody involved are important components of that extended unit.”
Parents will have an opportunity to tour the Castlegar Campus and meet some of the people involved in the education aspect of their sons’ post-secondary experience.
“Hockey parents dedicate themselves to long winters driving their kids to arenas and supporting their kids’ passion,” says Verigin. “College hockey is just one more step in that journey, so we want to make sure the parents feel involved and appreciated.”
Friday night’s game against the Vikes will be Fan Appreciation Night. There will be great giveaways, centre ice shootouts and Saints players will sign autographs after the game.
“We have the best fans and community support in the BCIHL by far,” says Verigin. “With this being the last home weekend of our first semester, we want to make sure we say thanks to all the people who give the players the extra boost they need to be successful on the ice.”
At Saturday’s game, the Saints will give back to the community with the second Annual Teddy Bear Toss. The goal is to break the record of 103 teddy bears/toys collected last year. Teddy bears will be tossed on the ice when the Saints score their first goal and toys can be donated in the lobby. All proceeds go towards the Castlegar Fire Department’s annual toy drive.
The Saints head into the weekend with UVIC riding a two-game winning streak and sitting atop the BCIHL standings. The Saints crushed Simon Fraser University 5-0 this past Saturday with Ryan Edwards leading the way with five assists and goaltender James Prigione recording his first shutout of the season.
The Vikes roster features former Nelson Minor Hockey Association players Carsen Willans and Linden Horswill. Puck drops on both nights at 7 p.m.
After the weekend games, the Saints will hit the road for four straight and not return to the Castlegar arena until January 8/9 when they will take part in an exhibition set with North Dakota’s Williston State.