Former Beaver Valley Nitehawks puck stopper, Tallon Kramer, backstopped the Selkirk College Saints to a 7-1 victory over Simon Fraser University on Friday. Kramer made 39 saves and was the game’s first star in Friday night’s BCIHL regular season opener at the Castlegar and District Rec Centre. Bob Hall photo.

Selkirk College Saints open new season with a split

Former Beaver Valley Nitehawks players Kramer and Heppler star in Saints opening night win over SFU

Former Beaver Valley Nitehawks players played a big part in the Selkirk College Saints opening game success as the Saints rolled to a 7-1 victory over the Simon Fraser University Clan to open the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season Friday.

Nitehawks newcomers played a starring role in the win as former forwards Dylan Heppler scored twice and added two assists, Nolan Percival added a single, and goaltender Tallon Kramer was outstanding between the pipes making 39 saves in his first appearance. Another former Nitehawk, Kadrian Klimchuk, who played seven games as an AP for the Hawks in 2014-15, scored once, as did Edward Lindsey, Josh Slanina and Parker Wakaruk.

“There’s always a lot of energy at this time of the season because players are excited to get back on the ice and get to know their new teammates,” Saints’ head coach Brent Heaven told Selkirk communications coordinator Bob Hall. “We have a great balance on the team this season and once the guys get settled, I’m confident we’ll have a very competitive team.”

The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from Heppler and Percival, and second-year player Wakaruk and rookie Lindsey made it 4-0 after two.

The Clan tried to get back in it in the third outshooting the Saints 23-9 in the period, but Kramer made several highlight reel saves for the win. Klimchuk, Heppler, and Slanina scored in the opening four minutes of the period to take a 7-0 lead, before SFU ruined Kramer’s shut-out bid with a goal from Eric Callegari with 5:24 to play.

SFU outshot Selkirk College 40-28 with Kramer earning first star honours, Lindsey second star, and Heppler third star.

In the rematch on Saturday night, the Saints looked poised to skate to another lopsided victory. Former Nitehawk, Tyler Hartman, put the Saints up 1-0 and goals from Logan Styler, Jackson Bruce-Fuoco and Chris Breese made it 4-1 Saints with Devin Nemes, another Hawk alumni on the Saints roster, earning an assist.

Late in the second period, Nicholas Holowko scored for Simon Fraser and then two more goals in the third period tied the score. Early in the overtime period, Eric Callegari notched the game winner when he beat former Castlegar Rebels goalie Patrick Zubick, who faced 49 shots in the game. The Clan escaped back to the Lower Mainland with the 5-4 win.

In the other BCIHL games, Vancouver Island University fell to Trinity Western 3-2 in overtime on Friday and 6-5 on Saturday. Former Trail Smoke Eater and Nitehawks goalie, Brett Clark, earned the game’s third star in the overtime loss for his 42-save performance, while Dallas Calvin, a former Smoke Eaters, Nitehawks, and Saints forward, scored his first goal of the season in the loss on Saturday. Calvin was a three-time all star with the Saints, and part of the Saints’ 2016 league championship team in his Rookie of the Year season. He also won the 2017-18 scoring title with 23 goals and 41 points in 23 games.

Selkirk College now hits the road for four games in October where they will get a look at the three other BCIHL teams—University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University and Trinity Western University. The team returns home on Nov. 2 and 3 for a two-game set against the University of Victoria in Castlegar.

With files from the Bob Hall, Selkirk College.

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