Fresh from winning the 2013 B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League championship in March, the Selkirk Saints proved they will be worthy defenders of the title after scoring early and often en route to a convincing 7-2 pasting of Eastern Washington Eagles before more than 400 fans Friday night at the Castlegar Recreation Complex.Selkirk scored just over a minute into the contest and never looked back as Cody Fidgett and Connor McLaughlin each scored three times to power the Saints to a convincing victory on “Banner Raising” night.”Tonight turned into a bit of a special teams battle and our power-play was up for the challenge,” said Saints head coach Jeff Dubois.”We got five goals and both units had a lot of success moving the puck and generating scoring opportunities. Connor (McLaughlin) and Cody (Fidgett) both picked up where they left off last season and had big games, and defensively we were very solid at 5-on-5 and got some timely saves from James (Prigione) when we needed them.”The evening opened with the Banner Raising ceremony, which included Selkirk College President Angus Graeme, Board of Governors Chairman Bruce Morrison and Registrar Cathy Mercer.And once the puck dropped, it took the Saints just over a minute to open the scoring as a Jackson Garrett pass was converted from the top of the crease by McLaughlin past Eagles starter Jason Greenwell to give the hosts an early lead. McLaughlin netted his second goal of the period with 5:19 remaining in the frame and helped set up linemate Beau Taylor for Selkirk’s third of the period, but EWU responded with a pair of power-play goals and trailed by a single goal after 20 minutes. It was all Saints the rest of the way, however, beginning midway through the second when McLaughlin completed his hat trick on a power-play feed from team captain Logan Proulx. Fidgett scored on another man-advantage minutes later and added two more in the third period to complete a hat trick of his own. Prigione picked up his first win in net for Selkirk, turning aside 25 shots on the night. Overall, the Saints out-shot their visitors by a 47-27 margin. Selkirk finished 5-for-7 on the man-advantage while killing four of six EWU opportunities. The 400 fans taking in the game definitely caught the attention of Saints players and coaches. “The support that we got tonight from the community was tremendous,” says Dubois.”Our first-year players have been hearing about the energy that builds at the Complex on game night, and the noise and passion in the building made a real impression on them. We felt the buzz around town leading up to the game this week and it was very satisfying to send the fans home happy with a very good performance to start the season.” The Saints will return to action next Friday, October 11th when the University of Victoria visits Castlegar. Face-off is set for 7:30 p.m. The president showed up.So did the chairman of the board as well as the registrar.And so did the Selkirk Saints.
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