It has been a tumultuous season for the West Kelowna Warriors, but after a division rival’s loss earlier this week the Warriors have clinched the final playoff spot for the upcoming BC Hockey League playoffs.
The BCHL playoff format allows all but one of the 17 teams into the post-season, and the Warriors’ lacklustre campaign will be put behind them with a fresh slate to start the playoffs.
“As we’ve seen in the playoffs, it doesn’t matter what your regular season record is, it all depends on how you’re playing at that time,” said team president Chris Laurie.
The Warriors played their fifth last game of the season Wednesday night in a 6-2 loss against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Although West Kelowna has cemented a spot in the playoffs, the opportunity to move up in the league rankings is still in play as the Warriors look to finish the season strong.
“We’re not done yet,” said Laurie.
“We have confidence in our group and we think that we can surprise some people.”
With four games still remaining, the Warriors are looking at a first-round match-up against either Trail or Penticton, two of the hottest teams in the BCHL.
Laurie said that the final stretch of the year should be a good one, especially with a Family Day game on Feb. 17 at Royal LePage Place against division rivals Trail Smoke Eaters.
With the Centennials loss this evening, the Warriors have officially clinched the final playoff berth. Lots of work to be done. Warriors are currently sitting 3 points back of the Spruce Kings for the 7th seed in the standings. #BCHL pic.twitter.com/0v1FeOG45k
— West Kelowna Warriors (@BCHLWarriors) February 12, 2020
For the Warriors organization, a berth into the playoffs reflects the hard work put in by the players.
“To get here, give the guys a lot of credit,” said Laurie.
“They’ve really come together, really improved their efforts and results in the new year which has lead us here.”
West Kelowna will conclude the regular season with back-to-back games against the Vernon Vipers next weekend.
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