The Selkirk Saints bounced back from a rough road trip, with a convincing win on its return to the comfortable confines of the Castlegar Rec Complex on Saturday.
Former Trail Smoke Eater Darnell Dyck netted a hat trick as the Saints shut out Trinity Western University by a 6-0 score.
TWU entered the game atop the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League standings with five wins and one loss, but the Saints carried the play through most of the game and outshot the visitors 53-23.
“Getting wins at home is something that we pride ourselves on,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “We have great fans and the guys very much appreciate and feed off of the energy in the building on game nights. There’s certainly an extra motivation to perform when you’re receiving such tremendous support.”
Cody Fidgett opened the scoring midway through the first period when he converted a feed from Saints captain Logan Proulx and beat Spartans netminder Harry Fredeman high to the glove. The hosts doubled their lead 22 seconds later when Trail native Garrett Kucher fed a nifty cross-ice pass to Dyck for a tap-in at the far post.
Fidgett and Dyck continued to do the damage offensively in the second period, as Fidgett scored on a tic-tac-toe passing play from Proulx and Jackson Garrett, before Dyck fired a shot on a shorthanded rush to extend the lead to four.
Former Beaver Valley Nitehawk Mason Spear beat Fredeman from in tight on a Saints’ power play in the third period and Dyck completed his hat trick with just 22 seconds remaining in regulation to cap off the scoring.
“We headed into tonight’s game off a couple of losses and our whole group came out prepared to dictate the speed and tempo of the game,” said Dubois. “TWU is a hard-working team that can be very difficult to break down defensively, and even when you do they’ve got one of the top goalies in the league to stop the puck. Tonight we made some skilled plays, but we were also tough to defend in how we moved our feet and cycled the puck. It’s really how we need to play night in, night out to be successful on a consistent basis.”
Selkirk netminder Chris Hurry picked up his second shutout of the season, turning aside 23 shots.
The victory was the fifth straight on home ice for the Saints to open the BCIHL regular season. Overall, the team has won 26 of 27 games on home ice since the start of the 2012-13 campaign.