Selkirk College Saints Cement Dynasty with Fourth Straight BCIHL Title
The Selkirk College Saints captured their fourth straight British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) championship with a 2-1 victory over the Trinity Western University Spartans before a packed house Saturday night at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex.
More than 800 hockey fans packed the Castlegar arena to watch the Saints clinch the best-of-three final series 2-0 and put the wraps on a magical season.
“It’s a pretty special feeling to win in front of a crowd like this,” said Saints’ forward Ryan Edwards who scored the game winning goal midway through the third period.
Needing to win to stay alive, the Spartans came out strong in the first period. BCIHL Goaltender of the Year James Prigione made several key saves to keep the game tied at zeroes after 20 minutes.
The third-year goaltender continued his strong play early in the second period at which point the Spartans had the edge in shots.
Late in the second period, Edwards was hooked on a breakaway by Jeremy McIntosh. On the ensuing powerplay, Alex Millgan buried a Jamie Vlanich pass to give the Saints a 1-0 and bring the raucous crowd to its feet.
“I wanted to contribute in any way I could, especially for the guys who are in their final season here,” Milligan said after the game.
The Saints threw 20 shots at Spartans’ goaltender Silas Matthys in the middle period, but only came away with a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Five minutes into the third period, TWU forward Dirk de Waal worked his way out of the corner and beat Prigione high over the blocker side to tie the game.
The Spartans kept the pressure on, but Prigone and the Saints defence were up to the task.
Midway through the final period, the Saints’ scoring line of Edwards, Dallas Calvin and Ryon Sookro came through when it mattered most. Calvin fed Sookro, who got a pass off to Edwards and the team’s leading scorer in the post-season buried the opportunity.
“That has to be right up there as far as goals,” said Edwards, who has notched plenty in his career. “It’s a good feeling to score a goal like that in a game like this.”
The Spartans didn’t quit and came hard in the final minutes, but the Saints held on for their fourth straight provincial championship.