BCIHL: Selkirk Saints split, clinch first

Selkirk will open the playoffs on home ice on Mar. 8th against the league’s fourth-place finisher.

The Selkirk College Saints clinched first place and home ice advantage in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) Saturday with a 3-2 win over Eastern Washington University, but fell flat the next day in the return match-up of the home-and-home losing 5-1.

Uriah Muchaga of EWU opened up the scoring at 8:01 of the first period. Saint forward and Trail native Logan Proulx tied the score at 1:48 of the second with a power play marker assisted by Ben Starbuck and Jordan Wood.

After that it was all Eastern, as the Eagles pulled away with four unanswered goals including two from Bret Kellogg and singles from Jake Flynn and Ryan Pajimola.

Selkirk completely dominated EWU in the win Friday, but the Saints again had trouble beating goalie Jason Greenwell, as the Eagles goalie weathered another puck storm, including a 16-shot deluge in the middle frame to hand Selkirk just its second loss of the season.

“There are games where the score probably doesn’t represent the run of play and this was one of those,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois after Saturday’s game. “We had a 42-16 advantage in shots on goal and could have had a few more goals. Greenwell was very good in net for Eastern and we weren’t great in terms of finishing plays.”

Alex Sirard suffered his first loss of the season in net for Selkirk and stopped 27 out of 32 EWU shots.

Greenwell stopped 33 and was named the games’ second star.

The Saints try to get back on the winning track with a road trip next weekend when they take on Thompson Rivers on Friday in Kamloops and Simon Fraser University in Burnaby on Saturday.

Selkirk will open the playoffs on home ice on Mar. 8th against the league’s fourth-place finisher.

Simon Fraser, meanwhile, is assured of a second-place finish and home-ice for at least the first round of the playoffs. The Clan look likely to face off against their top rival, Thompson Rivers University, who are one point away from clinching third and have three games remaining.

The most interesting battle is for fourth, as three teams EWU, Uvic, and Trinity Western, are still in the mix for the BCIHL’s final playoff spot.