BCHL Playoff Picture, Police Recommend Charges Against BCHL Parent, TWU Wraps Up BCIHL Season with a Win

The Merritt Centennials clinched third place in the BCHL Interior Division and a playoff spot with a 5-1 win over Salmon Arm on Friday.

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.

Friday Results
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)

Saturday Games
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.

Police are now recommending charges against the father of a Merritt Centennials player after threats were allegedly hurled at a referee last week outside the South Okanagan Events Centre following a Cents-Penticton Vees game. CTV News Vancouver has the story here.
The Trinity Western University Spartans wrapped up their most successful regular season ever with a 4-1 win over the University of Victoria. TWU clinched a playoff spot more than a month ago and locked up first place in the BCIHL three weeks ago. UVIC wraps up the season on Saturday against Simon Fraser University in a game which will determine who finishes third and fourth in the standings. Third place SFU is one point ahead of the fourth place Vikes. A third place finish means a first round playoff date with Selkirk College while finishing fourth ensures a first round match-up against Trinity Western.

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