With files from BCHL Media
The BCHL playoffs got underway March 3, with the top four teams from each of the league’s three divisions meeting in the first round.
Here’s how things went in Friday’s games, and current standings. Two teams, Merritt and Alberni Valley, are facing elimination Saturday night.
Interior Division, #1 vs #4: Penticton Vees vs West Kelowna, Vees lead 2-1
Mitch Newsome was the triple-overtime hero and Hunter Miska made an astonishing 78 saves as the Penticton Vees beat the West Kelowna Warriors 4-3 on the road to take a 2-1 series lead.
The Vees got out to a 3-0 first-period lead after goals from Jack Ramsey, Dakota Conroy and Tyson Jost only to see it disappear over the second and third when Tanner Campbell, Kylar Hope and Rylan Yaremko scored for the Warriors to force the game into overtime.
Newsome’s goal came at 9:37 of the third overtime period. The Warriors peppered Miska’s net with 82 shots over six periods while the Vees finished with 51.
West Kelowna finished fourth in the Interior division with a 29-21-0-8 OTL record, 27 points behind first place Vees, 44-9-3-2 OTL.
Mainland Division, # 2 vs #3: Langley vs Prince George, PG up 2-1
Chad Staley scored once and added an assist while Jesse Jenks stopped 25 of 27 shots and the Prince George Spruce Kings took advantage of home ice to win 4-2 over the Langley Riverman to take a 2-1 series lead.
Forward Jake LeBrun chipped in with two assists for the Spruce Kings who saw their two-goal third-period lead disappear after Hunter Anderson got the Rivermen on the board with a shorthanded goal under five minutes into the frame and Ryan Coulter evened the game less than two minutes later.
Prince George forward Cole Todd put his team back in front with 2:37 left in the third and Staley sealed the game with an empty netter with less than a minute to go.
Prince George finished in third place in the Mainland Division with a 27-24-1-6 OTL, 3 points behind second place Langley 29-23-1-5 OTL.
Interior Division, #2 vs #3: Vernon vs Merritt, Vipers up 3-0
Jarrod Schamerhorn made 24 saves and Riley Brandt registered the only point of the game as the Vernon Vipers shutout the Merritt Centennials 1-0 to go up 3-0 in the series.
Centennials goalie Jonah Imoo stopped 28 of 29 shots in a losing effort and in yet another one-goal game in this series.
Brandt beat Imoo on an unassisted effort in the second period and it was all the offense Schamerhorn needed to earn the shutout.
Vernon finished second in the Interior Division with 76 points, and a 36-18-1-3 OTL record. Merritt finished third, 10 points back, with a 32-24-0-2 OTL record.
Mainland Division, #1 vs #4: Chilliwack vs Coquitlam, Chiefs lead 2-1
The Coquitlam Express climbed back into their best-of-seven series with the Chilliwack Chiefs after winning a back-and-forth contest 6-5 in overtime when defenseman Austin Anelsmo scored the winner. They had dropped the first two, 4-1 and 6-2. Anelsmo’s goal matches his regular season total with his first of the playoffs.
The Chiefs got off to a strong start, particularly forward Rory Bell who scored two goals two-and-a-half minutes into the game before the Express answered back with first-period goals from Brett Supinski and Michael Merulla to tie it up after one.
Chilliwack forward Tipper Higgins took over for Bell on offense as he scored his team’s next three goals, but the Express responded with two power-play goals and one at even strength as the teams exchanged scores on the way to a 5-5 tie after three periods.
Anelsmo’s overtime winner came 6:22 into the first overtime period and was assisted by Corey Mackin and Brendan Lamont. The win saves the Express from going down 3-0 in the series with game four set for Saturday night in Coquitlam.
Chilliwack finished first in the Mainland division with 78 points and a 37-17-1-3 OTL record. Coquitlam finished in fourth, with 55 points, and a 25-28-1-4 OTL record.
Island Division: #1 vs #4, Nanaimo vs Alberni Valley, Clippers up 3-0
The Nanaimo Clippers were outshot 48-34 on the road but got 45 saves from goaltender Guillaume Decelles and were able to edge the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4-3 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
The Clilppers received goals from Nicolas Carrier, Brett Roulston, Kale Bennett and Jacob Jackson in another penalty-filled game, that included 16 minor penalties in the second period.
This was the closest game of the series as Eric Therrien, Chris Schutz and Drew Blackmun scored for the Bulldogs, but their third-period comeback fell just short.
Nanaimo finished first in the Island Division with 79 points on a record of 37-16-0-5 OTL, while Alberni Valley finished in fourth with 60 points and a record of 27-25-2-4 OTL.
Island Division: #2 vs #3, Victoria vs Powell River, Kings lead 2-1
Brett Magnus stopped 47 of 49 shots he faced and Jarid Lukosevicius and Jacob Pritchard each chipped in with two goals and one assist as the Powell River Kings beat the Victoria Grizzlies 5-2 to go up 2-1 in the series.
Forwards Kurt Keats and Brent Lashuk also had multi-point nights for Powell River in a game that featured 25 minor penalties, with the Kings going 3-12 and the Grizzlies going 1-for-13.
Powell River finished third in the Island division, with 64 points and a record of 27-21-1-9 OTL, while Victoria finished second with 69 points and a record of 29-18-1-10 OTL.
Standings, Regular Season:
Scoring Leaders: Regular Season
|1||Corey Mackin Import||20||F||Coquitlam||58||50||54||104|
|2||Brett Supinski Import||21||F||Coquitlam||58||48||50||98|
|5||Jacob Pritchard Import||21||F||Powell River||54||39||37||76|
|6||Jarid Lukosevicius||8||F||Powell River||55||33||40||73|
|7||Liam Blackburn||26||F||West Kelowna||55||22||51||73|
|8||Brett Gruber Import||8||F||Victoria||57||35||32||67|
|9||Jeremiah Luedtke Import||14||F||Prince George||58||21||46||67|
|11||Kurt Keats||7||F||Powell River||52||31||34||65|
|12||Gage Torrel Import||3||F||Langley||54||26||38||64|
|16||Mitch Makin||11||F||Alberni Valley||58||25||35||60|
|17||Liam Coughlin Import||7||F||Vernon||54||20||40||60|