Each week during the BCHL season, local hockey guru Jacob Bestebroer pens a column in the Chilliwack Progress discussing the home town Chilliwack Chiefs and goings on around the league.
What a difference a week can make.
Seven days ago the Chiefs were in third place with a five point cushion over the fifth place Vernon Vipers in the fight for one of the four playoff spots in the Interior Conference. After three straight losses, the Chiefs go into this weekend tied with the Vipers for fourth, now three points back of the third place Prince George Spruce Kings.
The next five games are crucial for the Chiefs, and the first two are this weekend on home ice.
Friday the Westside Warriors are here. They won’t make the playoffs but as we saw in their last visit to Prospera Centre a few weeks ago, they are not a bad hockey team.
Saturday night the Vernon Vipers are the opposition.
Games between the Chiefs and Vipers are a lot of fun and bring back some great memories from the last twenty years. There will be a separation of no more than two points between the two teams by Saturday night so the importance of this game is obvious.
They’ll face each other once more after Saturday night (March 6, again in Chilliwack). It’s been nice to see a bit more of the Vipers this season after seeing them just two or three times per season from 1994-95 through 2005-06.
In the four seasons prior to 1994 the Chiefs and the Vipers, then known as the Lakers faced each other 10 times per season. In total they’ve met 70 times in the regular season with Vernon winning forty of those games. They’ve also faced each other in the post season six times totalling another 32 games.
Vernon won four of those six series.
Some good news for the Chiefs this week. Captain Tyler Miller returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing more than a month with an injury. With just six defencemen on the 21 man roster his presence was sorely missed and getting him back is key to nailing down a playoff spot.
A new promotion will be launched soon by the Chiefs, hopefully this weekend. Those of you at the games with a smart phone and the Facebook app will be able to ‘Check in’ at the game and tag a picture of yourself at the game. In doing so, you’ll have the opportunity to win prizes. Keep an eye on the Chiefs website and Facebook page for details.
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