Submitted to the News
The Selkirk College Saints are now in a position to capture the all-important home ice advantage during the first round of the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League playoffs after a pair of wins over the Eastern Washington University Eagles.
With time winding down on the regular season, the two-time defending league champion Saints hurdled over the University of Victoria Vikes with the two wins and now sit in second spot in the league. The Saints travel to Vancouver Island this coming weekend for a crucial two-game set with the Vikes that will play a key role in determining who finishes the season in the coveted second place position.
This past weekend started with the Eagles visiting the Castlegar Recreation Complex on Friday for a game that marked the BCIHL debut of Jamie Vlanich who led the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League in scoring last season while a member of the Nelson Leafs. The Trail-born Vlanich had been sidelined with knee surgery.
Selkirk won 6-3. Matt Martin scored twice for the Saints, while Ryan Procyshyn, Marc-Antoine Guimond, and Ryan Edwards added singles.
James Prigione picked up his seventh win of the season in net for the Saints, turning aside 20 shots.
On Saturday night, the Saints traveled south to Cheney for the second game of the weekend series.
Tied 3-3 midway through the frame, Selkirk forward Danny Vlanich was brought down on a shorthanded breakaway. He scored on the ensuing penalty shot to put the Saints ahead, and Tanner Lenting capped the scoring on a power-play minutes later to put the game out of reach.
Defenceman Ryan Procyshyn —who was playing in only his fifth game of the season due to a pre-season broken ankle — registered three assists in the game.
Steven Glass made his first start for Selkirk since November 30 and turned aside 16 shots to record his third straight BCIHL win.
The Saints will head west to Victoria for games on Friday and Saturday against the Vikes. Suiting up for Victoria will be former Nelson Leafs Carsen Willians and Linden Horswill who are both rookies with the Vikes. The first round of the playoffs begin on March 6 and the team that finishes second — Trinity Western University has already wrapped up first place — will host the league semi-final.
The Saints will wrap up the regular season on February 28 when they once again travel to Cheney to take on Eastern Washington.