CASTLEGAR, British Columbia – The Selkirk Saints took advantage of Trinity Western penalties to score three second period power-play goals on their way to a 5-1 victory over the Spartans to open the BCIHL finals Friday night in Castlegar, B.C. The Saints now lead the best of three BCIHL final one game to none.
Selkirk played from in front most of the game as they outshot TWU 43-24 in the 60 minute contest.
“We knew what the atmosphere would be like when we came here, as we played here two years ago in the final. We know that their game is built around energy in their own rink and we knew that we had to match it,” commented TWU assistant coach Chris Wiens. “The quick goal in the second period put us on our heels, and if you give Selkirk confidence they are a tough team to stop. And we just kept fanning the flames of that confidence by putting ourselves in the box. And we can’t do that. One of our keys for tonight was to be disciplined then Selkirk and we didn’t do that tonight. We had undisciplined penalties that put us behind and it is a tough rink to come back in.”
The Spartans gave up the first goal 24 seconds into the game when the Saints Ashton McLeod beat TWU’s Silas Matthys from the top of the circle. The Spartans played even with the Saints for the remainder of the period and got the equalizer with 2:09 remaining in the opening period. TWU’s Mattias Schmitt sent Jamey Kreller in alone on breakaway to even the score at 1-1. Selkirk would finish the period with a slight 11-9 edge in shots on goal.
TWU started the second period short-handed the Selkirk once again got the early goal as Ryon Sookro scored just 25 seconds into the second period to put the Saints up for good. Selkirk’s Dallas Calvin would score two more power-play goals at 6:50 and 15:54 to give the home team a 4-1 lead heading into the final period. The Saints finished the period outshooting the Spartans 22-4.
Trinity Western outshot Selkirk 11-10 in the final period, but were unable to gain ground on the Saints. Selkirk’s Jamie Vlanich made the final 5-1 at 8:25 of the final period.
TWU’s Silas Matthys made 38 saves in the loss, while Selkirks James Prigione made 23 saves to earn the opening game victory.
“After the early goal in the first we put together a pretty solid first 20 minutes and were able to stay out of the box,” added Wiens. “We have to come back and reset for tomorrow night and know that we have come back in this barn on the second night. We’ve come back from behind against Selkirk so we know that we have the effort in our room. Our guys have been a resilient bunch throughout the year and I think we can come back tomorrow with a more disciplined effort.”
Game two will go Saturday night in Castlegar. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Castlegar Recreation Centre.
Game Notes: TWU finished the night going 0-5 on the power play, while Selkirk finished going 3-9 with the man advantage…TWU lost the 2014 BCIHL championship 2-0 to Selkirk in the best of three series played in Castlegar…