The Selkirk College men’s hockey program will play their first-ever games against Alberta college league competition this weekend when Fort McMurray-based Keyano College visits the West Kootenay for a pair of exhibition contests.
The defending British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League champions will host the Huskies on Friday night at the Nelson and District Community Complex (8 p.m.) and Saturday afternoon at the Castlegar Recreation Complex (4 p.m.).
“We’re expecting Keyano College to be a very tough and talented opponent,” says Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “The Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference is a high calibre college league that’s been going strong for over 50 years, so we’re looking at these games as an important challenge for our group above and beyond our typical preseason preparations.”
The Huskies finished seventh in the nine-team ACAC as an expansion team last season, posting a record of 7-17-1-3 and just barely missing out on postseason action. The squad features a number of BC-born players, including former Beaver Valley Nitehawks forward Ryan Sookro and BCHL veterans Brody Lynott (Alberni Valley Bulldogs), Luke Hannas (Prince George Spruce Kings) and Steve Axford (Powell River Kings).
“We’re looking forward to seeing the style and intensity of play in the BCIHL,” says Keyano head coach Paul Strand. “Many of our players are from BC and are looking forward to playing games in front of friends and family. These games will be a good test and hopefully will provide a memorable experience for the college and the players. It’s trips like these I remember most from my college days.”
The upcoming weekend set against Keyano marks the first of five match-ups for the Saints against ACAC opposition. Selkirk will travel to Edmonton to face Concordia University, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and Grant McEwan University on the weekend of September 20 to 22. The Saints will then return home for a pair of games against league rivals Trinity Western University on September 27 and 28 before the regular season begins on Friday, October 4 at home to Eastern Washington.
General admission tickets for both games this weekend will be available at the door for $5.