As the Selkirk College Saints head into the stretch run of the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season, the two-time defending champions are also looking further down the road to the team that will hit the ice in 2015-2016.
Earlier this week, the Saints announced the playing commitment from Marcel Fuchs to attend and compete for the Saints beginning next season. Fuchs is a 5-foot-11, 180 pound forward who is completing his third season of junior hockey with the Kootenay International Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Creston Valley Thunder Cats.
“We are excited to have Marcel join our recruiting class,” says Saints head coach Alex Evin. “Our program continues to add individuals who take pride in both their academics and athletics.”
Now coached by former Saints bench boss Jeff Dubois, Fuchs has appeared in 41 games this season. The twenty-year-old who is originally from Mission, BC has accumulated 22 points, with two of his team’s eight goals being game winners.
Overall, Fuchs has played 142 games in the KIJHL, scoring a total of 69 points and 179 penalty minutes. In 2013-2014 playoffs, Fuchs scored eight points in 16 games but the Thunder Cats lost to the eventual KIJHL Champion Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the Kootenay Conference Championship series.
“I was able to watch Marcel quite a few times during his KIJHL career and he always brings energy and a consistent work ethic to each game,” says Evin. “He will be a capable two-way player and penalty killer who takes pride in playing the game the right way.”
Fuchs plans to enroll in the General Associate of Science Program at Selkirk College and later pursue a degree in Respiratory Therapy.
“My goals for next year at Selkirk are to excel both on and off the ice in the classroom,” says Fuchs. “There’s nothing more I’d want than to win a BCIHL championship while staying on top of my school work and maintaining a good grade point average.”
Similar to the Saints, Fuchs and the Thunder Cats are currently chasing down a home ice playoff spot and sit two points back of the Kimberley Dynamiters in the Eddie Mountain Division with six games remaining. They will need Fuch’s experience down the stretch.
“Marcel is a hard worker on and off the ice and a high character individual who will thrive in any role given to him,” says Dubois. “He has been a tremendous leader for us this season and understands the level of commitment and focus that it takes to be part of a winning program. The Thunder Cats organization is thrilled that he will have a chance to advance his academic and hockey careers in the BCIHL.”
After a weekend off, this year’s edition of the Saints return to the ice on Friday night when they will host the Simon Fraser University Clan at the Castlegar Recreation Complex starting at 7 p.m.
With Trinity Western University solidified in the BCIHL top spot, the Saints are focussed on capturing second place which would give them the coveted home-ice advantage when the playoffs start in March. The Saints are currently in third place in the league, one point behind the University of Victoria and two points ahead of Simon Fraser.
The Saints have six regular season games remaining, including four straight on the road to end the season. The Saints last regular season home game is February 13 against Eastern Washington University. Playoff start on March 6.