BCIHL: Saints sweep Spartans

Selkirk College Saints win back-to-back BCIHL titles

The Selkirk College Saints captured their second consecutive B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League championship on Saturday night with a 5-1 victory over Trinity Western University at the Castlegar Recreation Complex.

With the win, the Saints swept the best-of-three series on the heels of a 6-1 decision on Friday.

Just as they had in Game 1 a night earlier, Selkirk managed to build a three-goal first period lead that the Spartans would not be able to overcome.

Markus McCrea scored the game’s opening goal just 4:29 into regulation when he tapped home a Mason Spear pass from behind the net past TWU starter Silas Matthys. From there, the Saints power-play chipped in a pair of goals before intermission as Jackson Garrett converted a cross-crease feed from former Trail Smoke Eater Darnell Dyck and Trail native Logan Proulx beat Matthys five-hole.

TWU’s Blair Murphy brought his team within two midway through the second period with a deflection off a Brad Bakken shot, but Connor McLaughlin restored Selkirk’s three-goal lead minutes later when he benefited from Scott Swiston’s hard work to create an offensive zone turnover before blasting a shot over Matthys’ glove for a shorthanded marker.

Garrett then put to rest any hopes of a Trinity Western comeback early in the third period when he was sprung on a partial breakaway by linemate Cody Fidgett and scored on a backhand deke.

Selkirk outshot the Spartans in all three periods and finished the game with a 43-16 advantage in shots on goal.

“From our perspective, the compete level from our group was phenomenal, and combined with a high skill level right through the line-up I think it made for a difficult combination to stop. Our leaders really stepped up over the second half of the season and that continued right through both playoff series. It’s very satisfying to see their hard work rewarded with a championship.”

This year’s title-winning roster included 15 players who were also part of Selkirk’s BCIHL championship team last season.

The Saints finished the season on a 13-game winning streak and last lost in regulation on Nov. 20th in Victoria. Saturday’s result also extended the team’s home winning streak to 29 games.