BCHL Playoff Picture, Vernon’s Latina and McCarthy and Cowichan’s Hogg Suspended, Taker Recalled to AHL, Golden Seeks Head Coach/GM:

Monday Results

Nanaimo def. Powell River 5-2
Coquitlam def. Surrey 4-2

Tuesday Games
Alberni Valley at Cowichan 

With its win 5-2 win over Powell River on Monday, Nanaimo clinched top spot in the Island Division and is guaranteed home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Once again this season, the BCHL will go with a playoff format that sees best-of-seven playoff series in Rounds One (Division Semifinals) and Two (Division Finals), a three-team round robin in Round Three designed to eliminate one team, and then a best-of-seven Fred Page Cup final between the two remaining teams.

The top four teams from each division make the post-season, meaning that only four of the BCHL’s 16 teams don’t get in. Penticton, Chilliwack, Langley, Prince George, Coquitlam, Powell River and Nanaimo have locked up playoff spots. If the regular season ended Monday, these would be the Division Semifinal match-ups:

(1) Penticton vs. (4) Salmon Arm
(2) Vernon vs. (3) Merritt

Penticton – 81 points, seven games remaining
Vernon – 66 points, seven games remaining
Merritt – 56 points, eight games remaining
Salmon Arm – 56 points, seven games remaining
West Kelowna – 55 points, six games remaining
Trail – 38 points, eight games remaining
(1) Nanaimo vs. (4) Alberni Valley
(2) Powell River vs. (3) Victoria

Nanaimo – 75 points, six games remaining
Powell River – 62 points, five games remaining
Victoria – 55 points, seven games remaining
Alberni Valley – 53 points, nine games remaining
Cowichan – 42 points, seven games remaining
(1) Chilliwack vs. (4) Coquitlam
(2) Langley vs. (3) Prince George

Chilliwack – 64 points, eight games remaining
Langley – 59 points, eight games remaining
Prince George – 55 points, eight games remaining
Coquitlam – 47 points, six games remaining

Vernon will be without two of its top forwards after the BCHL handed down suspensions stemming from Saturday’s 5-3 loss to Cowichan. Vipers forward Colton McCarthy is suspended two games for participating in a fight at the end of a period, as is Capitals forward Ryan Hogg. Vernon forward Anthony Latina was also suspended three games for provoking an incident at the end of a game. At the 20 minute mark of the third period, Latina was assessed two minute minor penalties each for slashing and instigating, a five minute major for fighting, and two game misconducts. Both McCarthy and Latina sat out Vernon’s 4-3 overtime loss to Chilliwack on Sunday. McCarthy is eligible to return on Friday, February 13 at home vs. Salmon Arm while Latina can rejoin the Vipers lineup on Saturday, February 14 at home against Nanaimo. Hogg can return to the Capitals on Sunday, February 15 at home vs. Merritt.

Defenseman Shayne Taker (Cowichan, 2008-10) has been recalled by the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage from the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. The Vancouver product has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 37 games with Cincinnati this season. Taker played five games with San Antonio last season after wrapping up a four-year college career at Notre Dame, where he recorded 47 points (eight goals, 39 assists) in 152 games.

The junior B Golden Rockets of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League are looking for a GM/Head Coach for the 2015-16 season. Ty Davidson tendered his resignation from the Rockets, effective at the end of this season. He’s a former Head Coach of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks who also played in the BCHL for Nanaimo and Penticton and cited being closer to home and family as the reason for his resignation. The Rockets job posting is here.

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