Saints looking to three-peat; get pushed by Nelson contingent
The Selkirk College Saints are looking to become the first team in BC Intercollegiate Hockey League to capture three straight titles.
The Saints host Simon Fraser Clan beginning Friday at the Complex in Castlegar.
“Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would be in this position,” said Selkirk defenceman Lucas Hildebrand after Saturday’s game.
“When I came here, I didn’t really know what to expect. This third year has really opened up my eyes to how great this program has become. Everybody has done such a great job, starting with [Selkirk College Athletics Director] Kim [Verigin] and [Saints head coach] Alex [Evin], it’s just incredible to be part of it and I’m loving every minute of it.”
The Saints advanced to the final by knocking off the University of Victoria Vikes in two games.
The Vikes, with a pair of Nelson Leaf grads — forwards Carsen Willans and Linden Horswill — and a coach behind the bench who is a graduate from Nelson Minor Hockey —Harold Schamhart — made remarkable strides this season.
The Vikes, with no less than 10 rookies on the roster, watched the Saints narrowly escape the first game in overtime — 4-3— before scoring two quick second-period goals to eliminate UVIC — 4-1— in game two.
Both Willans and Horswill fit seamlessly into the Vikes squad.
Willans finished the season with five goals and 14 assists for 19 points while Horswill scored four times and added 14 assists for 16 points.
Both players played all 24 games for UVIC.
The puck drops on Game One of the BCIHL Final at 7 p.m. at the Castlegar Recreation Centre on Friday night.
Game Two will also start at 7 p.m. on Saturday and if necessary Game Three will be played on Sunday (time to be determined).