The playoff picture is as clear as it can be around the league with the exception of the last spot in the BCHL Interior, which will be decided tonight when the outcome of the Salmon Arm/Penticton and West Kelowna/Surrey games are known.
In last night's action, the Merritt Centennials exploded for 4 goals in the 2nd period en route to a big 5-1 win over the Silverbacks, thus clinching the 3rd spot and a date with Vernon in the 1st round. Salmon Arm gets another opportunity to "win and get in" tonight vs. Penticton.
Here are the scenarios as they set up from a West Kelowna perspective:
- A Warriors win combined with Salmon Arm Loss, Overtime Loss, or Tie --> Warriors clinch 4th
- A Warriors win combined with Salmon Arm Win --> Salmon Arm takes 4th
- A Warriors overtime loss or tie combined with a Salmon Arm regulation time loss --> Warriors are in.
Ultimately those are the basic scenarios for tonight. Salmon Arm gets into the playoffs with a win regardless of when it happens. They need two points as they have the head to head tie-breakers should both teams have the same number of wins. I know the head-to-head tiebreakers are confusing, but here is how they work.
- 1st tiebreaker is Wins, each team would have the same number if they both do the same thing tonight
- 2nd tiebreaker is points accumulated in games between tied teams. This means that although West Kelowna beat Salmon Arm 4 times, and lost 3, that because 2 of the Warriors wins against the Silverbacks were in OT, both teams accumulated 8 points in those games.
- 3rd tiebreaker is goal differential in games between tied teams, and Salmon Arm has that edged out by 3 goals.
The Silverbacks take on the Vees starting at 6 pm in Penticton tonight, so heading to the 3rd period of our game, we should know what has happened at the SOEC, and what needs to happen in the 3rd. For the Warriors, its all about winning tonight and not worrying about what is happening down the road. The media will be looking at it, the fans will be looking at it, but the players and coaching staff need to focus on the 2 points and go from there.
The one interesting note, and its a long shot but something that has crossed my mind is that if Salmon Arm loses in OT or ties, and the Warriors head to OT, something crazy could happen. If both teams earn only a single point then they'd go to those 2nd and 3rd tiebreakers mentioned above, so the Warriors would have to win it outright even if it is in OT. This means that just like some minor hockey tournaments that feature tiebreakers for playoff spots, the Warriors may need to pull their goalie in overtime to give them the best chance of getting the win they need. Fun times ahead.
Anyways that was long-winded but basically what it comes down to tonight.
Here are the stats:
Surrey Eagles - 9-44-1-3
5th in Mainland Division (21 Pts)
HOME - 8-19-1-1
AWAY - 1-25-0-2
Darius Davidson (96) F
(25 G, 26 A)
GF - 139
GA - 279
PP - 16th - 14.9% (34 for 228)
PK - 14th - 74.6% (185 for 248)
West Kelowna – 28-21-0-8
T-4th in Interior Division (64 Pts)
HOME – 17-9-0-2
ROAD – 11-12-0-6
Liam Blackburn (96) F
(22 G, 51 A)
GF – 199
GA – 208
PP – 9th - 22.2% (59 for 266)
PK – 3rd - 82.3% (191 for 232)
Head-to-Head Lifetime – West Kelowna is 10-5-1-0 All-time vs Surrey
2013/2014 Head to Head – West Kelowna went 1-2 vs. Surrey
2014/2015 Head to Head - West Kelowna is 0-1 vs. Surrey this season