In establishing the gold standard in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) over the last few years, the success of Selkirk College Saints program can be attributed to a work ethic that mirrors the region the team calls home.
As the Saints get set to embark on the 2018-2019 season, a trio of recruits will help continue the theme of steadfastness as it looks towards a return to the championship final. Former Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) standouts Edward Lindsey, Dylan Heppler and Tayden Woods will attend Selkirk College starting in September.
“It’s rare that our team is outworked in a game,” says Saints’ head coach Brent Heaven. “Along with bringing tremendous offensive upside, we are excited to have these three players join our team because they have proven over the course of their junior careers that determination and grit are vital parts of the way they play.”
Lindsey wrapped up a five-year stint with the hometown Castlegar Rebels by being named the most valuable player in the Neil Murdoch Division in the 2017-2018 season. Raised in Castlegar, Lindsey played a total of 215 games with the Rebels where he averaged almost a point a game. The talented forward led the Rebels in scoring last season with 75 points which put him fourth overall in the KIJHL
“I chose Selkirk College because of the wide variety of courses offered to help advance myself academically and after being able to witness the success of the Saints in the past years,” says Lindsey, who is enroled in the School of University Arts & Sciences. “I will bring an offensive game to the team, with a hard work ethic and a drive to bring the Saints back on top of the BCIHL.”
Heppler is originally from Taber, Alberta and played three seasons for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks where he helped the team to a stellar championship run in 2017. Like Lindsey, Heppler led his team in scoring last season with 54 points while also contributing significantly in the defensive zone.
“Having played junior just up the road in Beaver Valley, I was already familiar with the Saints program and have nothing but praise for the college,” says Heppler, who will take the Millwright/Machinist Program at Nelson’s Silver King Campus. “I will bring an element of speed and some offensive upside to my new team. I pride myself on having a hard work ethic and have the drive to win a championship.”
Woods arrived to the West Kootenay from Calgary where he played the 2015-2016 season with the Castlegar Rebels. On his way to being named the Neil Murdoch Division’s rookie-of-the-year that season, Woods notched an impressive 74 points to lead his team in scoring and finish fourth overall in the league. He then moved on to play two full seasons of Junior A hockey in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.
“Selkirk College’s hockey team has a rich history of winning championships and being a successful program,” says Woods, who has chosen to study in the Business Administration Program. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to begin my education in Castlegar, a place where I’m very comfortable and is like a second home to me. I know that coach Heaven can continue to develop me as a player and he has made me feel very wanted by the program.”
The Saints were denied their fifth BCIHL title last March when the Trinity Western University Spartans defeated the local squad in the championship final. The Saints finished the 2017-2018 regular season in second place with an 18-5-0-2 record.
“As local hockey fans already know from having watched these three players in junior, our team just became that much more energized both offensively and defensively,” says Heaven. “All three players are proven leaders who will fit in perfectly with the group we already have in the dressing room. We are pleased they decided to join our program where they can develop both academically and athletically over the course of the season.”
The Saints begin training camp at the Castlegar & District Recreation Complex in September.