The Selkirk College Saints celebrated Saturday night as they took the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League title in an exciting 3-2 overtime win at the Nelson District Community Complex.
The Saints notched the championship win against the Simon Fraser University Clansmen after a bold come from behind effort sent them into extra play. Forward Cody Fidgett scored the winning goal, unassisted just 3:11 into overtime.
“I can’t even put words to it. It’s probably the biggest goal I’ve ever scored. It’s fantastic,” he told the Nelson Star after the game. “It was a hard fought comeback.”
SFU were first on the scoreboard with a penalty shot goal by Kale Wild at 4:37 left in the first period. Then, early in the second, the Clansmen made it 2-0 off a goal by Brenden Silvester from Colton Graf.
Playing at the NDCC due to scheduling conflicts with the KIJHL semi-final series opener in Castlegar, the Saints packed the Nelson rink with fans eager to see their team take the best two of three college series.
When the Selkirk’s Thomas Hardy put his team on the scoreboard with 3:21 left in the second, the crowd erupted. Mason Spear and Fidgett assisted making it 2-1 at the end of the second.
The Saints came out hard in the third and it was captain Jordan Wood who scored the huge tying goal off a pass from assistant captain Logan Proulx midway through the third. With good pressure, the Selkirk team had several more scoring chances that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. Even up on shots on net, the score was a deadlocked 2 at the end of regulation play.
About to go into overtime, Assistant coach Jamie Freiss said they let the guys know this was the time to capitalize on the tired SFU defensive line.
“We said let’s take ‘em wide. Let’s make sure we put the pucks on net and sure enough, it went in. Our speed finally paid off for us in the end,” he said.
Fidgett’s goal brought down the house with the jubilant Saints bursting to the ice and the crowd cheering the champions on.
Assistant captain Scott Swiston was ecstatic after the game.
“There’s no better feeling in the world right now. You only really get these opportunities really once in a lifetime. This is the first time I’ve won a trophy as big as this. You are just never going to forget it or the people you won it with,” he said. “Start to finish we knew we wanted this more than them. We played with a ton of heart and I think we deserved it.”
Goaltending played a huge role in the Saints win with Alex Sirard solid between the pipes. Hard hits and hard work were critical as the BCIHL champions dug in for the win.
“I am very proud of every last one of them. They all put in the time. They all worked very hard all year,” said Freiss. “This was our goal right out of training camp and they stayed the course. They followed the program and it paid off for us in the end.”