Saints goalie Tallon Kramer earned the Neil Murdoch Division goalie MVP for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in 2017, backstopping B.V. to the Cyclone Taylor Cup. Jim Bailey photo.

Saints goalie Tallon Kramer earned the Neil Murdoch Division goalie MVP for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in 2017, backstopping B.V. to the Cyclone Taylor Cup. Jim Bailey photo.

Selkirk College Saints to host VIU Mariners at B.V. Arena

Dallas Calvin, Brett Clark return to Hawks’ Nest with VIU Mariners to play Selkirk College Saints

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks are out of town, but the Hawks Nest will see many of B.V.’s former stars in action on Saturday night.

The BC Inter-collegiate Hockey League is coming to town with the Selkirk College Saints facing off against the Vancouver Island University Mariners at the Beaver Valley Arena Saturday, in what will be a homecoming for many of the student-athletes.

The Saints roster is loaded with former Beaver Valley Nitehawks players that include goaltender Tallon Kramer, and players Dylan Heppler, Tyler Hartman, Nolan Percival, Devin Nemes, and Kadrian Klimchuk.

But that’s not all, even the VIU Mariners boast a pair of Nitehawks in Trail native Dallas Calvin and goalie Brett Clark. The duo were instrumental in helping B.V. capture the 2014 Cyclone Taylor and Keystone Cups, with Clark earning MVP honours in the Keystone and Calvin the leading scorer, before both moved on to play for the Trail Smoke Eaters in 2014-15.

“The success we have had as a team over the last few years owes a lot to places like Beaver Valley, Nelson and the other communities in our region,” Saints head coach Brent Heaven said in a release. “It’s a good opportunity to show our brand of hockey to the areas that have helped us produce such a good program.”

For players like Kramer, who has been outstanding in net for the Saints this season, a return to the Hawks Nest will bring back a flood of memories.

“We’re all so excited,” Kramer told the Times. “To get back to B.V. and play in front of the old fans is going to be awesome, I can’t wait.”

The Grande Prairie native backstopped B.V. to the 2016-17 KIJHL championship and Cyclone Taylor Cup following an impressive season. Kramer earned 28 wins, five losses, and four shut outs, while posting a 1.81 goals-against average, and .935 save percentage. Hartman, Heppler, and Percival were also key components to the Nitehawks success that year, with Hartman joining the Saints last season and Heppler and Percival coming on board this year.

“It’s unreal,” said Kramer. “When those guys committed, I was just so pumped to play and it just feels exactly the same, and they said the same thing. It feels just like we’re in B.V. when I’m in net and when those guys score I get even more thrilled than they do, it’s fun to see.”

The 4-3-0-3 Saints got off to a slow start this season, but have turned a corner in the last month with a sweep of UVic Nov. 2-3, followed by a three-point weekend against previously undefeated Trinity Western University (TWU) last weekend. Kramer was stellar in net stopping 39 shots in a 4-2 victory Nov. 16, but TWU won the next match 3-2 in overtime. Still, the Saints are confident coming into this weekend’s matches against the 6-4-0-1 Mariners.

“The last three weekends we’ve hit our stride and figured it out, so I’m looking forward to this weekend,” said Kramer. “TWU hadn’t lost a game so it was big for us.”

Percival and Hartman are out with injury, but the Saints have a strong complement of former KIJHL players, with 14 of its 21-man roster having played in the KI, including former Castlegar Rebels goaltender Patrick Zubick, and players Vince Bitonti, Logan Styler, Chris Breese, and Ed Lindsey and Nelson’s Cole Arcuri.

And while rivalries ran deep when the Hawks faced off against the Leafs and Rebels, allegiances changed when the players pulled on the same sweater.

“It’s funny, us and the Rebels absolutely hated each other, but me and Nolan and Heps (Heppler), and Ed Lindsey and Vince Bitonti are like best friends on the team so it’s pretty funny,” said Kramer.

On the other side, Calvin and Clark are good friends with many of the Saints. Dallas began his post-secondary journey at Selkirk College and led the Saints to a league championship during his rookie season in 2016. After three years with the Saints, Calvin transferred to Vancouver Island University at the start of this season where he is completing his degree and currently leading the BCIHL in scoring.

“It’s always a little bit weird to see these guys in a different jersey and coach against them,” says Heaven, who will also watch former Saints Alex Milligan, Tyler Kerner and Jordan Rauser suit up in a Mariners’ jersey over the weekend. “But for these men who get an opportunity to go on and finish their degree, it’s obviously a great situation for them and a great accomplishment for our program. These players have had an impact on that program and are an important part of their success, but when they come here and we play against them… we want to win. We can have some laughs, a hug and handshake when the game is over, but when we are at the rink it will be intense and fiery.”

The Mariners defeated the Saints 8-3 back on Oct. 20, firing 57 shots at Kramer in the Saints losing cause. However, with their recent resurgence, Selkirk will try to turn the tables this time around.

“The last two weekends, guys have really figured out their roles, and we’ve all come together and built some confidence,” added Kramer. “It’s so tight, the league is only separated by one to three points, and I think if we win both we’ll jump right into first place, so it’s a pretty big weekend for us, and we’re looking forward to it.

“We’ve already played against them once this year, but to play in B.V. it’s going to be so cool.”

The Saints host the Mariners at the Hawks Nest at 7 p.m. Saturday with a venue shift to Nelson on Sunday for a game at the Nelson and District Community Complex also at 7 p.m.

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Trees blown over by a windstorm in forest owned by Anderson Creek Timber. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read