The Selkirk College Saints return home on Saturday for a pivotal tilt with the Simon Fraser University Clan that will go a long way in determining home-ice advantage in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) post-season.
Coming off four straight road games, the Saints will be looking to rebound from a pair of disappointing losses against SFU and Trinity Western University this past weekend as the team aims to lock up second place in the regular season standings. The Saints are currently one point ahead of SFU who have won four straight to surge up the standings.
Grant Iles and the Selkirk College Saints host the Simon Fraser University Clan this Saturday starting at 4 p.m. at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex in a key match-up that will help determine home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
“This is a strong league, and to be in a position to have home ice to start the playoffs is a goal we set out at the beginning of the season,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “As a group, we know we can do better than we have of late. We have to trust the process and make sure we get back to playing a full 60 minutes, which will in turn bring our group success.”
There's No Place Like Home
The Saints are 1-3 in their last four games which were all played on the road. On Friday night in Burnaby, SFU came away with a 4-1 victory that helped close the gap on the Saints. Needing a win on Saturday in Langley against Trinity Western, the Saints fell behind early and couldn’t recover in a 6-4 loss.
“The weekend was difficult, we have been dealing with a lot of injuries. At times played very well and certainly had a chance to win against Trinity Western,” says Heaven. “There are small adjustments that need to be made, but I’m confident in the group we have in the dressing room. This group is committed to finish strong and head into the playoffs with momentum.”
First-year forward Derek McPhail's gritty play and scoring touch will be key in the remaining regular season games and into the playoffs.
With Trinity Western University now sitting comfortably in first place, the Saints are focused on making sure that at least the best-of-three BCIHL semi-final is played at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex. The Saints have two games remaining in the regular season and SFU has three.
“Home ice advantage is vital for our team,” says Heaven. “We have the best fan support in the league and the players really feed off the energy in the arena, especially in the playoffs. We control our destiny and winning both remaining regular season games is what it will take.”
Due to the Castlegar Rebels KIJHL playoff game in the evening, Saturday’s Selkirk College game will start at 4 p.m.