by Jeff Dubois
January 15, 2014, Castlegar, B.C. (ISN) – The Selkirk College Men’s Hockey program will look to take sole possession of first place in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League standings this weekend when they face a pair of tough road games to open the second half of their 2013/14 regular season schedule.
The Saints will open the trip on Friday night against Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops before traveling to Burnaby for a match-up with Simon Fraser University on Saturday. All three teams are currently tied for first place in the league standings, with Selkirk and SFU (both 10-3-0) having a pair of games in hand over TRU (10-5-0).
The swing will give the Saints an opportunity to avenge a pair of road losses to their weekend opponents in October, when they dropped a 5-2 decision the WolfPack and a 5-3 loss to the Clan.
“There’s no question that these are two big games to kick off the semester,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “We’ve been very successful on home ice up to this point in the season but we need to match that same level of preparation, focus and execution when we’re on the road. It’s a tough trip with a lot of time on the bus, but there’s no place for excuses in games like these; the results are what matter.”
Thompson Rivers is riding a hot streak that has seen the team collect eight wins in their past nine games. They opened their semester schedule last Saturday in Burnaby, when they spotted SFU a goal before scoring three unanswered in a 3-1 victory. The WolfPack are led offensively by the trio of Josh MacDonald, Duncan Schulz and Tyler Berkholtz, who have combined for 76 points and sit third, fourth and eighth amongst the league’s scoring leaders.
Simon Fraser, meanwhile, looked to have a stranglehold on first place in the BCIHL after starting the season with six consecutive wins, but the Clan have since dropped three of their last seven games. The first of those defeats came in Castlegar on November 16th when the Saints scored nine goals. SFU does boast the league’s top two scorers in Nick Sandor and Jono Ceci, who have 60 points between them.
“Both TRU and SFU are tough opponents, particularly at home,” says Dubois. “There’s a lot of skill on both those rosters, so you need to compete at a high level and play a responsible two-way game to have a chance at picking up points in their rinks.”
Friday’s game in Kamloops is set for an 8:30 PM faceoff while Saturday’s match-up in Burnaby will begin at 7:00 PM. Both games can be viewed live at www.FastHockey.com.