Selkirk College Saints rookie Dallas Calvin scored four goals on Saturday night to pace his team to a 9-2 thumping of the Eastern Washington University Eagles.
Returning to the Castlegar & District Community Complex after a road swing to Vancouver Island, the Saints offensive outburst helped push the defending British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) champions early season record to 3-2.
“We had good puck movement tonight with the linemates and the defence getting the puck up to the forwards,” Calvin said after the game. “There’s lots of room to make plays happen on a night like that.”
The Saints struck early in the first period when Tylor Branzsen started the goal parade, scoring just over a minute after the opening puck drop. Ten minutes later, Saints forward Jamie Vlanich dug the puck out of the corner and fed a nice pass to cousin Danny Vlanich who put a low shot past Eagles starting goalie Tyler O’Donnell.
With five minutes left in the opening frame, Calvin got onto the scoresheet for the first time when he converted a nice pass from Jamie Vlanich on a two-on-one. With a minute left in the period, Calvin got his second when an attempted pass from the corner hit O’Donnell’s pads and bounced past the line for a 4-0 Saints lead.
Saints rookie forward Dane Feeney added to the first period assault with nine seconds left after he picked up a loose puck in the slot and put a perfect wrist shot into the Eagles net. The Eagles managed to beat Saints starting goaltender Brett Huber with no time on the clock to head into the dressing room behind by four goals.
In a back-and-forth second period, Huber needed to be sharp as the Eagles were not content to fold up their tent and head home. With strong goaltending, the Saints managed a pair of goals in the second to increase the lead including a pretty deke by Danny Vlanich who used his 6’5” frame to notch his second of the game. With two goals on the night, the second-year defenceman is halfway to his total goal output from last season.
“I’m just going to try and chip in where I can and tonight was just one of those nights offensively,” said the Trail native.
It was an extra special night for both Danny and Jamie Vlanich. In a pre-game ceremony at centre ice, the Saints honoured both of their moms who are breast cancer survivors with flowers and a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society.
“It was nice for the team to honour my mom like that and then for the team to play so well,” said Danny Vlanich. “It was good to be a part of and one of the things that makes this team special. I guess those goals were for my mom and my auntie… one each.”
With a 7-1 lead going into the final period, Calvin completed his impressive output. First linemate Ryan Edwards calmly passed a puck from the corner to Calvin who was waiting in the slot and put away a one-timer for his hat trick. Then with just over three minutes left in the game, the 6’3” Calvin used his reach to strip the puck from an Eagles defenceman and converted on the subsequent breakaway.
A graduate of the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters, Calvin now leads the league in goals (9) and points (13) after five games. On a line with fellow Trail Minor Hockey graduates Jamie Vlanich and Edwards, the scary part for opposition is that Calvin is just starting to get in a groove.
“It feels like every game it’s getting better,” said Calvin, who won a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League championship with Ryan Edwards in 2013 while both were members of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. “It started a little slow in the exhibition games, but we are starting to figure it out.”
The Eagles ended up with the 31-28 advantage in shots after the final buzzer. The three stars of the game were Calvin, Huber and Danny Vlanich.
The Saints next home game is on Saturday, October 31 when they take on Simon Fraser University at the Castlegar & District Community Complex. Puck drops at 7 p.m.