The BCIHL has been informed that due to budgetary constraints, Selkirk College will no longer offer a men's hockey team. Since the cancelation of the 2020-21 season, BCIHL teams have been working towards a full return to play for the 2021 fall semester. With SFU, UVIC and VIU remaining after the departure of TWU for USPORTS, the BCIHL and its teams are now considering alternative schedules for the 2021-22 season.
"First and foremost, we'd like to thank the Selkirk Saints hockey organizers, coaching staff and student-athletes for their time and commitment to the league," said BCIHL President Chris Munshaw.
"The Saints program grew with the BCIHL under former league president Kim Verigin, who served the league admirably for 10 years and was part of Saints hockey for even longer. The program was a guiding light for our league through many ups and downs, steadily improving the level of competition and community presence in Castlegar along the way," Munshaw added.
"We've seen exceptional involvement from Selkirk College alumni dating back to the 1960s, incredible coaching staff helped grow the program into one of the premier BCIHL schools, and so many student-athletes represented the college well both on and off the ice. BCIHL games in Castlegar will be thoroughly missed.”
"COVID-19 has presented significant financial challenges to post-secondary institutions, the BCIHL, and hockey community as a whole," explained Munshaw. "While the immediate future is not as clear as we'd like it to be, there are a few things we can lean on while we navigate through this period. We believe there is an opportunity for hockey at the collegiate level in British Columbia to continue providing an exceptional student-athlete experience while engaging fans and serving their communities.”
"With the calibre of local junior hockey teams, whether graduates pursue USPORTS, NCAA, or BCIHL post-secondary options, we know the level of competition will always be extremely high. We will continue our efforts in expanding our league under tighter financial constraints for the time being, and rely on the successful models that benefited our league for the past 15 years.
The BCIHL is exploring possible routes to a return to competition and will provide further updates as they become available.