The student athletes on the Selkirk College Saints took time to share their impressive accomplishment of four straight British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) championships on Wednesday afternoon at the Castlegar Campus.
More than 200 students, college staff and community supporters came to The Pit for a Celebration Rally that provided an opportunity for the players to bring the league trophy to the place it has resided for an extended period of time.
Selkirk College Saints team captain Tanner Lenting spoke at the rally about the importance of community support in helping ensure a fourth straight BCIHL championship.
“We truly appreciate the community’s support,” said Saints first-year defenceman Ashton McLeod. “It’s nice to recognize our achievements, but it’s great for everybody else to get together and come to support us. We appreciate the support of everybody who is around us, so getting to see our supporters face-to-face like this is little more special.”
The Saints captured their provincial championship on Saturday night at the Castlegar & District Community Complex after a 2-1 victory over the Trinity Western University Spartans before a crowd of more than 800 hockey fans. The win clinched the best-of-series and gave the Selkirk College club their historic fourth championship.
Students, Staff and Community Join the Party
At the rally, the players were introduced to those gathered. Team captain Tanner Lenting spoke about the importance of having the college behind them all season long and Selkirk College President Angus Graeme gave kudos to the team for being great ambassadors for the entire region.
After the formalities, pizza was served for all in attendance and players posed for pictures with those who wanted to document the moment.
More than 200 students, staff and community supporters came out to help celebrate the Saints fourth straight BCIHL title.
“It’s been absolutely huge to have the community support we had this season,” said rookie forward Dane Feeney who was an offensive spark for the Saints in the regular season and post-season. “Coming from a whole bunch of different angles… the school, the sponsors of the team and all the fans. All the little things over the course of a season add up to help make it big success.”
The Saints are a mix of locally raised hockey players and recruits from all across Western Canada. Though most who have come to play and study at Selkirk College over the last few years arrive knowing that the Saints are the gold standard in the BCIHL, many are surprised by the enthusiasm the community has towards the team.
“I didn’t expect this support when I arrived, it’s been awesome,” said first-year defenceman Nathan Browne, who is from Vernon and played junior hockey in Ontario, in the BCHL and in Campbell River.
The Saints players will now focus on completing their academic years on a high note and those returning next season will make a run for a fifth straight championship.