VIU Mariners player Alex Milligan shoots and scores during the shootout as his team defeated the Selkirk Saints 5-4 on Saturday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

VIU Mariners come back to beat Saints in shootout

Hockey team jostling for home-ice advantage in the playoffs

The VIU Mariners needed a shootout, but they were able to secure a win and one extra point that’s important to their playoff positioning.

Vancouver Island University defeated the Selkirk Saints 5-4 in a shootout Saturday in B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League action at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

The Saints led 3-1, but the Mariners twice tied it up and were able to beat their closest pursuers in the BCIHL standings.

“It’s all about battling and coming back. These guys were showing lots of heart,” said Steve Paul, coach of the Mariners. “To pull it off and get the two points was huge for this club tonight.”

The Mariners fired 55 shots on goal, and stuck with it until the pucks went in.

“It was all about traffic, getting pucks to the net and making it difficult for [their goaltender],” said Paul.

Alex Milligan scored the winning goal in the shootout and said even when the Mariners were trailing, they tried to stick with playing their game.

“I think you have to. You can’t really stray and get too far away from what you’re doing to make yourself successful and the team successful,” he said. “I think we played a really good game. We were getting pucks deep and just putting everything on net.”

Milligan said his team knew Saturday’s game would be a challenging one.

“They capitalized on their chances and we knew they would,” he said. “I think it shows a lot that our team’s got a lot of determination being down 3-1 … and coming back, and those are big points. We’re fighting with them for home ice for playoffs, so every point is crucial, especially at this time of year.”

Paul said players understand the importance of home-ice advantage in the playoffs, so now they’ve got to go earn it.

“We’re not perfect by any means for the playoffs, we’ve got to work a little bit harder, practise a little bit harder…” he said. “[They] need a little push here and there and a kick in the shorts.”

Garrett Murray led VIU with two goals Saturday and Dylan McCann and Gage Colpron were other scorers. Matt Huber made 22 saves and was perfect in five rounds of the shootout.

GAME ON … Next action for the VIU Mariners is Feb. 2, when they host SFU at 7:15 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fisheries and oceans minister spends Earth Day in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Jonathan Wilkinson in riding to support candidate Michelle Corfield

Earth Day in Nanaimo celebrates the Earth and its inhabitants

Plant a tree, pet a wolf, and see grand opening of Georgia Greenway at Nanaimo Earth Day festival

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

Editorial: Climate change is a good reason to cast a vote

Different choices around climate action and inaction will be on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Humboldt memorial hockey tournament will make its return in Nanaimo

Fundraising tournament set for Nanaimo North Town Centre parking lot on May 5

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Anti-immigration party is on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Opposing candidate says National Citizens Alliance’s participation ‘highly problematic’

Clippers optimistic as they put finishing touches on cup-hosting bid

Nanaimo’s junior A hockey club hopes to host RBC Cup nationals in 2020-21

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 straws each year

Most Read