Trail native Blake Sidoni is returning home a Saint.
The former Trail Smoke Eater and Beaver Valley Nitehawk forward committed to play for the BC Inter-collegiate Hockey League’s Selkirk College Saints for the 2019-20 season.
“Selkirk College is close to home and I’m looking forward to returning to play for the Saints,” said Sidoni in a release. “I will bring determination and hard work on the ice. I’ve been fortunate to be part of winning teams in the past and want to help the Saints win another championship this season.”
Sidoni started last season with the Trail Smoke Eaters but was sent to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and the Virden Oil Capitals in exchange for futures. The physical forward’s skillset and work ethic was a perfect fit for the MJHL and Sidoni excelled scoring 15 goals and 47 points in 45 games in Virden. When Sidoni joined the Oil Capitals, they were mired in 10th place in the 11-team MJHL, but his leadership and impressive play lifted the Oil Caps into fifth spot, a playoff berth, and ultimately to the league semi-final.
Sidoni’s Oil Capital teammate, Tristen Cross, also committed to the Saints and brings an impressive resume. The Virden product played four seasons for his hometown team and was a second-team MJHL All Star in the 2018-2019 season. The 20-year-old defenceman scored 15 goals and added 30 assists during his final campaign with Virden.
“These are two players with dynamic skills that will be able to make a quick transition to the BCIHL,” said Saints head coach Dave Hnatiuk. “Both Tristen and Blake have been part of teams in junior that know what it takes to win in big games, traits that we expect will be an important asset at this level.”
Sidoni scored 38 goals and added 62 assists for 100 points in 121 games with Beaver Valley. He was also a key member in the Nitehawks run to the KIJHL championship and Cyclone Taylor Cup win in 2016-17.
Sidoni joins former Nitehawks’ teammates Tallon Kramer, Nolan Percival, Dylan Heppler and Evan Gorman on the Saints roster.