As announced in the fall, the 2018 BC Ford Dealers Road to the Fred Page Cup BCHL playoffs will have a different look from last year.
This season, there will be no byes and 16 teams will earn a spot in the postseason with two of those being wild-card berths. As of today, the Merritt Centennials hold one of the wild-card spots and the Coquitlam Express and Cowichan Valley Capitals are in a race for the other.
In both the Island and Mainland Divisions, Round 1 will see the No. 1 seed versus the No. 4 seed and the No. 2 seed versus the No. 3 seed.
In the Interior Division, all seven teams have secured playoff berths. However, there will be eight teams entering Round 1, with the No. 8 seed being whichever last-place team from the Island or Mainland secures the second wild card. Round 1 in the Interior will see the No. 1 seed versus No. 8, No. 2 versus No. 7, No. 3 versus No. 6 and No. 4 versus No. 5.
In Round 3, the team emerging from the Island Division will play the winner of the Mainland Division to determine who goes on to the Fred Page Cup Finals. The Interior will not play an out-of-division opponent until the Finals.
All series each round will be a best-of-seven. Round 1 begins on Friday, March 2. It will be up to the opposing coaches in each round to determine the series format, whether it be 2-3-2 or 2-2-1-1-1 etc.
The BCHL Fred Page Cup champion will advance to play the winner of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) in the Doyle Cup to determine who goes to the RBC Cup national championship tournament. The Doyle Cup was last played in 2012 when the Penticton Vees defeated the Brooks Bandits on their way to a national title. For the last five seasons, the Western Canada Cup had replaced the Doyle.
The Chilliwack Chiefs are hosting this year’s RBC Cup. Should the Chiefs win the BCHL title and advance to the Doyle Cup, both Doyle Cup teams will automatically qualify for the RBC Cup.
The following is a calendar listing the dates within which each playoff round must be completed.