BCHL tweaks playoff format by adding crossover potential

Finishing last in the Mainland or Island division is no longer an automatic playoff death sentence.

Following numerous meetings, conference calls and proposed scenarios, a committee created by the BCHL’s Board of Governors has recommended a format for the 2018 playoffs.

The league will keep the current three-division alignment for the regular season, eliminate the first-round bye in the Interior division and have 16 out of 17 teams make the playoffs.

The top-four teams from both the Island and Mainland divisions will qualify for the postseason and be seeded one to four.

In the Interior division, which has seven teams now that the Wenatchee Wild have joined, the top six will qualify for the playoffs and be seeded one through six.

A crossover scenario will see two of the last place teams (fifth in Mainland, fifth in Island, seventh in Interior) qualify for the postseason as the seventh and eighth seeds in the Interior division.

That will be based on points. For example, if Coquitlam is last in the Mainland with 72 points, Alberni Valley is last on the Island with 74 points and Salmon Arm is seventh in the Interior with 70 points, the Silverbacks will be out and the Express and Bulldogs will be in.

The Island and/or Mainland team(s) crossing over will be the No. 7 or No. 8 seed if they have a higher points total than the Interior’s last-place team.

All playoffs rounds will be a best-of-seven format. The winner of the Island division will eventually play the winner of the Mainland division in the Coastal final.

The winner of that series will advance to play the winner of the Interior division in the Fred Page Cup Finals.

See bchl.ca

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