With an eye on returning a league championship to the West Kootenay, the Selkirk College Saints now have roadmap of what it will take to come out on top in the upcoming 2017-2018 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season.
The Saints released a schedule this week that includes six exhibition and 25 regular season games. The action gets underway on the September 15 and 16 weekend with an exhibition home-and-home series against Eastern Washington University. The puck will drop on the regular season at home on October 6 when the Simon Fraser University Clan visit the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex.
“We’re looking forward to another great season,” says Selkirk College Athletics & Recreation Coordinator Kim Verigin. “With the addition of Vancouver Island University (VIU) to the league, hockey fans will get an even better mix of high calibre college hockey.”
Now playing in a six-team league, the Saints will lock horns with each squad five times. The Saints will play 12 regular season games at the Castlegar arena and 13 games on the road. The first visit to the West Kootenay for the newest team will take place on October 21 and weekend roadtrips west to Vancouver Island will now include games in both province’s capital against the University of Victoria Vikes and a stop in Nanaimo to match up against VIU.
Four of the Saints exhibition games will be against teams from the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC). On the September 22/23 weekend the locals will travel to Edmonton to play against the MacEwan University Griffins and the Concordia University Thunder. MacEwan will then pay a visit to Castlegar on September 29 and 30 for a taste of Kootenay hospitality.
“MacEwan won the ACAC championship last season and will be an excellent test for the team,” says Verigin. “It’s important that we get a closer look at teams from different leagues because it provides a bit of extra excitement. We are expecting the games against both Alberta teams to be important for setting the tone for the regular season.”
The Saints first half of the season features three home games in October and three home games in November. The last regular season game will be on March 3 when VIU travels to Castlegar.
After capturing an extraordinary four BCIHL championships in a row, the Saints were knocked off their perch last season in the semi-finals when Trinity Western University scored a series victory. The University of Victoria then pulled off an impressive upset of both Simon Fraser University and Trinity Western University to capture the 2017 provincial title.
The Saints begin training camp in the last week of August when players arrive to get prepared for the upcoming campaign. As they prepare for the excitement on the ice, the team is also making preparations for the 4th Annual Selkirk College Saints Golf Tournament which takes place on September 17 at the Castlegar Golf Course. Visit gosaints.ca or pick up forms at the Castlegar Golf Course/Mallard’s Source for Sports to register.