Vees-Warriors meet in all-Okanagan playoff series

BCHL playoffs set

Playoff positions and one division title were decided on the final day of the BC Hockey League regular season on Sunday.

In the Interior Division, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks leapfrogged over two teams to claim third, and guaranteed home ice advantage in the first playoff round by beating Merritt 3-2.

The Centennials were playing out the string, having been eliminated from the playoffs long ago.

The Silverbacks and Wenatchee finished tied for third, a point better than Vernon. However, Salmon Arm claim third by virtue of more head-to-head wins against the Wild.

That result means the Vernon Vipers slip to fifth, and will open the playoffs on the road in Wenatchee. The Silverbacks will begin at home against Victoria, the top last-place finisher.

Nanaimo claimed the Island Division crown, pounding Alberni Valley 6-1 Sunday. The Clippers finished a point better than Cowichan Valley.

Chilliwack moved ahead of Surrey and into second place in the Coastal Division, thumping Langley 7-0 Sunday.

With only the Centennials missing the playoffs, the fifth placed team in the island and coastal divisions (Victoria and Prince George) slide into the interior to make an eight-team playoff bracket.

The West Kelowna Warriors, who finished with fewer points than both those teams, are the eighth seed, behind the Grizzlies and Spruce Kings.

The Warriors will face Penticton in the first round, while second place Trail gets Prince George.

On the coast, regular season champion Coquitlam will face Langley, and Chilliwack host Surrey.

On the island, Nanaimo draws Alberni Valley in the opening round, while Cowichan Valley face off with Powell River.

The Warriors and Vees open their best-of-seven series at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The opening two games are set for Thursday and Friday, with games three and four at Royal LePage Place Sunday afternoon, March 1 and Tuesday, March 3.

The Vipers travel to Wenatchee for games one and two next Saturday and Sunday. Dates for games at Kal Tire Place have not been announced.

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