BCIHL: Selkirk Saints seize season title

The Selkirk College Saints clinched their second consecutive B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League regular season title on Saturday night

The Selkirk College Saints clinched their second consecutive B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League regular season title on Saturday night with a 3-2 overtime win over Trinity Western University in Castlegar.

The victory pushed the Saints, 20-3-1, one point ahead of Simon Fraser University, 19-3-2, and into sole possession of first place in the league standings. It also sets up a first round playoff series against Thompson Rivers University that will begin on home ice Friday.

Assistant captain Scott Swiston scored 10 seconds into overtime to end the game and give the Saints their 20th win of the year and their second BCIHL title.

Colin Minardi opened the scoring for Selkirk midway through the first period when we took a pass off the rush from former Trail Smoke Eater Darnell Dyck and fired a shot over the glove of Spartans’ goaltender Silas Matthys.

The score remained 1-0 for the hosts well into the second period when TWU captain Brad Bakken blasted a point shot through traffic and past Saints starter Chris Hurry. It took little time for Selkirk to reply, as former Beaver Valley Nitehawk Mason Spear tucked a shot just under the crossbar from in tight to give his team a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Mathys stymied the Saints in the third, and Spartans blueliner Blair Murphy would eventually tie it when he broke in down the left wing and beat Hurry with a wrist shot high to the glove to tie the game. The remaining 13 minutes of regulation solved nothing, but the single point was enough to ensure a first place finish for Selkirk.

“Finishing in first place was an objective of ours from the beginning of the season, so we’re glad to have met that goal,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “It didn’t come easy; we basically had to go the last six weeks without any margin for error. But we have a group that takes a lot of pride in their ability to come through in big moments, and we saw that again tonight.”

Mathys made 48 saves in the loss while Hurry stopped 18 shots and picked up his team-record 14th win for Selkirk.

The best of three series starts Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Castlegar Rec Complex.