The win moves the Cents two points ahead of the SilverBacks and West Kelowna. Salmon Arm isn’t eliminated from the playoffs with the loss. A SilverBacks win Saturday vs. Penticton combined with a Warriors loss against Surrey will clinch for Salmon Arm.
With Chilliwack’s win over Coquitlam and Langley’s loss to Prince George, it ensures that the Chiefs and Express faceoff in the first round of the playoffs while the Rivermen meet the Spruce Kings. Home ice between Langley and PG will be determined by a return match-up between the two teams on Saturday.
The Island Division playoff picture became clearer with Victoria’s 4-3 double overtime win against Nanaimo clinching second place for the Grizzlies. It means Victoria has home ice advantage for its first round playoff series vs. Powell River.
Merritt def. Salmon Arm 5-1
Penticton def. Vernon 3-2
Chilliwack def. Coquitlam 5-2
Prince George def. Langley 5-3
Powell River def. Alberni Valley 8-2
Victoria def. Nanaimo 4-3 (2OT)
Salmon Arm at Penticton
Surrey at West Kelowna
Trail at Merritt
Coquitlam at Chilliwack
Langley at Prince George
Alberni Valley at Powell River
Nanaimo at Victoria
The BCHL playoffs start on Tuesday, March 3 with each of the Division Semifinals.The league has stated that the Division Semifinals will be completed no later than March 11. The Division Finals start March 13 and wrap up no later than March 22. The three-team double round robin in Round Three starts March 25 and is done no later than April 5. The BCHL Championship Fred Page Cup Finals are scheduled between April 10 and April 19.
The top four teams from each division make the post-season, meaning four of the BCHL’s 16 teams don’t get in. As of Friday, Surrey, Cowichan, and Trail are eliminated while Penticton, Vernon, Merritt, Chilliwack, Langley, Prince George, Coquitlam, Powell River, Alberni Valley, Victoria and Nanaimo have all locked up playoff spots.