The Selkirk College Saints gritted out a win on Friday night at the Nelson and District Community Complex to move one step closer to a BC Intercollegiate Hockey League title.
The Saints received outstanding goaltending from Alex Sirard and physically dominated the Simon Fraser University Clansmen on their way to a 2-0 victory.
The regular season champion Saints played their first game of the season in Nelson due to the Castlegar Rebels occupying the Castlegar Community Complex for Friday night’s KIJHL semi final series opener. An appreciative crowd was on hand to cheer on the Saints.
Selkirk set the tone early with tenacious work and hard hits in the first ten minutes of the opening period. Former Nelson Junior Leaf forward Connor McLaughlin had the hit of the night midway through the opening frame when he laid out SFU’s Taylor Swaffield.
Stellar goaltending by both Sirard and SFU starter Graeme Gordon kept both teams off the scoreboard in the first period. The Saints held the edge in shots 11-7.
The teams kept up their back-and-forth play for most of the second period. With three minutes left in the middle period, SFU had several glorious chances in close but Sirard shut the door with confidence to keep the game scoreless.
Thirty second after Sirard’s heroics, Saints forward Cody Fidgett got a piece of a Dylan Smith shot front from the point that fooled Gordon and gave Selkirk the 1-0 lead.
The Saints kept coming and with just over a minute left in the period former Beaver Valley Nitehawks forward Mason Spear banked a shot off of Gordon’s leg from behind the net to give Selkirk the 2-0 lead.
The third period was more back-and-forth, but Sirard stayed strong between the pipes to preserve the shutout.
Game Two goes Saturday night at the Nelson and District Community Complex. If the Saints win, they will be the BCIHL champions.