The Chilliwack Chiefs are off to the third round of the BCHL playoffs.
The junior A team completed a four game sweep of the Prince George Spruce Kings Monday night, bouncing their Mainland division rivals with a 4-3 win.
Playing in the cozy confines of the Prince George Coliseum, the Chiefs scored three in the third to overcome a 3-1 deficit.
Tipper Higgins scored the game winner with just 20 seconds remaining, sniping his 11th of the playoffs (in just nine games) with PG’s Alex Stoley in the sin bin for slashing.
Jordan Kawaguchi, Liam Ferguson and Craig Puffer had the other Chilliwack goals.
David Jacobson continued to shine in net.
The Spruce Kings out-shot the Chiefs 17-6 in a dominant first period, but Braiden Epp was the only one to put a puck past him.
Jacobson ended up stopping 31 of 34 shots, keeping his team in it long enough for them to stage the comeback.
You can argue about the strength of opposition, but so far the Chiefs are steam-rolling their way through the postseason.
Chilliwack has lost just once in nine games, eliminating the Coquitlam Express in five and PG in four.
They’re averaging five goals per game.
They’re giving up just 2.44 goals per game and their +23 goal differential is easily the best in the league (Nanaimo is second at +8).
Individually, Chilliwack has the top four point producers in the playoffs.
Jake Hand leads the scoring parade with six goals and 16 points.
Higgins (9-11-4-15), Puffer (9-7-8-15) and Kawaguchi (9-5-10-15) follow.
Big blueliner Vincent Desharnais, who had just one goal and five points in 54 regular season games, is the highest scoring defenceman in the postseason with eight points (tied with Nanaimo’s Nicholas Gushue).
And now, Desharnais and company get to sit back and relax.
The Interior division series has the Penticton Vees and Vernon Vipers tied at two games apiece.
The Vees won the first two on home ice by scores of 4-3 (overtime) and 5-2.
The Vipers returned the favour in the next two, taking back to back 5-2 decisions at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place.
Meanwhile, the Nanaimo Clippers and Powell River Kings are slugging it out on the Island, their series also tied 2-2.
The heavily favoured Clippers won the first two at home (4-2 and 2-1) and lost the next two on the road (2-1 and 2-1).
The third round will begin March 25 with Chilliwack facing two of those teams in a double round-robin format.
The Chiefs will host and visit the Interior and Island champs.
The two teams with the best records in the round-robin will play for the BCHL championship.