The Selkirk College Saints will showcase British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) calibre action in Nelson this weekend when they host the University of Victoria Vikes in a special two-game exhibition set.
The defending BCIHL champions are based out of the Castlegar & District Community Complex and are looking forward to the half-hour jaunt down Highway 3A for a pair of games at the Nelson & District Community Complex.
Former Nelson Junior Leafs standout Jamie Vlanich will be returning to the Nelson & District Community Complex this weekend for a BCIHL exhibition series against the University of Victoria Vikes. He will be bringing some friends in linemates Ryan Edwards and Dallas Calvin who are also familiar names for local hockey fans.
“Selkirk is a regional college and we are a regional team,” says Selkirk College Director of Athletics Kim Verigin. “Logistically we have to base the team out of Castlegar, but we want hockey fans in the area to get a look at the great hockey that is played in this league. The players are really looking forward to playing a couple games in Nelson.”
The Saints are preparing to challenge for their fourth straight BCIHL title in the 2015-2016 season. A mix of talent from Junior A and Junior B leagues throughout Western Canada, the Selkirk College team has established itself as a powerhouse in the college ranks.
A Productive Trip East to Alberta
This past weekend the Saints hit the road east for a three-game exhibition swing against some of Alberta’s top college squads. Despite returning home with a 0-2-1 record against Keyano College, McEwan University and Concordia University, the Saints were bolstered by the stiff competition in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
“We played well against some excellent hockey teams,” says Saints Head Coach Brent Heaven. “The weekend was a success as I was not worried about the results on the scoreboard. The team made some major strides with our system and we are starting to develop a team identity. We would have obviously loved to come away with three wins, however, the ultimate goal was to develop our systems as a group and we definitely accomplished that.”
West Kootenay Connection Strong with UVIC
This weekend’s series against the University of Victoria is a rematch of last year’s BCIHL semi-final which saw the Saints triumph in a two-game sweep. It will also be a homecoming for UVIC head coach Harry Schamhart who grew up in Nelson and has guided the Vikes to past BCIHL titles. The UVIC roster also includes former Nelson Minor Hockey Association and Nelson Junior Leafs standouts Linden Horswill and Carsen Willans. Both players are entering their second year of hockey at the post-secondary level. Austin Seaman, a graduate of the Leafs program last season after two campaigns in Nelson, is also a member of this year's edition of the Vikes.
The University of Victoria Vikes have a strong connection to Nelson in the form of the team's head coach Harry Schamhart (back) and former Nelson Minor Hockey Association standouts Linden Horswill (left) and Carsen Willans (middle right).
Other than the connection on the UVIC side of the ice, the Saints roster will provide some familiarity for Nelson hockey fans. In the 2013-2014 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) campaign, Saints forward Jamie Vlanich was a member of the Nelson Junior Leafs where he led the league in scoring with 97 points. That was also the season that Ryan Edwards and Dallas Calvin—both now members of the Saints—played for the eventual league champion Beaver Valley Nitehawks. All three players grew up playing minor hockey in Trail.
“Both Jamie and Ryan were key members of our championship last season,” says Heaven. “Adding Dallas to the roster this season gives us three of the most talented offensive players to come out of this region in recent memory. We have been experimenting with them as a line and it’s fun to watch.”
The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Nelson & District Community Complex on Friday and Saturday night.
The Saints regular season gets underway on October 2 at the Castlegar & District Community Complex where there will be a special pre-game ceremony to raise the team’s third straight banner to the rafters.