Heading into Friday night’s game in Nanaimo, the West Kelowna Warriors will be feeling a sense of urgency unlike any other time during the BCHL season.
While technically not a must-win situation, the Warriors can do themselves a big favour with a victory over the Clippers in the third-round playoff series involving the three division champions.
Nanaimo has 2-1 record, the Chilliwack Chiefs are 2-2, while Rylan Ferster’s club sits at 1-2.
The first two teams to three victories will advance to the BCHL championship series, while the third team is eliminated.
Regardless of Friday’s outcome, West Kelowna will be in Chilliwack on Sunday to battle the Chiefs—either with their backs again the wall, or in a position to move on to the final with a victory over Chilliwack.
Here are the possible scenarios following Friday’s game.
If Nanaimo wins over West Kelowna:
• Nanaimo advances to the BCHL Finals
• West Kelowna and Chilliwack would continue playing, beginning on Sunday, April 10 in Chilliwack until one team reaches three wins
If West Kelowna wins over Nanaimo:
All teams would be 2-2 in Round 3 and the schedule would be as follows:
Sunday, April 10 – West Kelowna @ Chilliwack
o The winner of this game would advance to the Fred Page Cup Finals
o The losing team will play vs Nanaimo on Tuesday, April 12 for the last berth in the Fred Page Cup Finals (venue TBD)
Meanwhile, The Warriors will be looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs on Wednesday night at Royal LePage Place.
After battling back from an early 3-0 deficit to tie the game and force overtime, the Warriors fell 4-3 on a goal by Jordan Kawaguchi at 59 seconds of the extra period.
Kylar Hope scored twice for West Kelowna, including the equalizer with just 12.9 seconds left in the third period with goaltender Matthew Greenfield on the bench for an extra attacker.