Chilliwack Chiefs in position to track down rivals

The Chilliwack Chiefs have three games against BCHL Interior conference opponents this weekend.

A busy weekend could be a hugely profitable one for the Chilliwack Chiefs as they play three games in three days against Interior conference opponents.

The Chiefs start Friday night in Prince George, facing one of the teams directly in front of them in the Interior standings.

Chilliwack is fourth at 26-20-1-2.

Prince George is second at 27-17-2-4, five points up on the Chiefs. Chilliwack does hold one game in hand, and a head-to-head win puts them in decent position to overtake the Sprucies.

Finishing third as opposed to fourth would spare the Chiefs a first round squashing at the hands of the top-seeded Penticton Vees, who seem pre-destined to win the 2011-12 BCHL title.

This is the final meeting of the year between Chilliwack and the Spruce Kings. The seven previous meetings have been close, with two games decided in overtime and four of the games decided by one goal.

Chilliwack holds a 4-2-0-1 record in the season series and won the last meeting, a 4-2 triumph in Prince George Jan. 20.

The Spruce Kings have gone 7-2-0-1 over their last 10, the best Interior conference mark after the never-lose Vees.

With a really good weekend, Chilliwack could put themselves in position to overtake not just Prince George, but also Saturday night’s opponent, the second place Merritt Centennials.

The slumping Cents have gone 3-7-0-0 over their last 10, picking a bad time to go into a swoon.

A lack of offense has been Merritt’s downfall recently, with the team  scoring 11 goals in their last six games.

Their top line of Evan Stack, Regan Soquila and Chad Brears has accounted for all but two of those goals, with Stack scoring five on his own.

The Centennials still lead the Chiefs by six points in the Interior conference standings. But, should Chilliwack beat Merritt in the head-to-head and then capitalize on their two games in hand, they would be tied.

The teams have met six times previously this season, with Chilliwack going 2-3-0-1.

This is their last head-to-head meeting this season.

The Chiefs wrap up the weekend on Sunday, facing the Warriors in Westside.

Though Westside is well out of the playoff picture, they’ve been a pesky opponent for everyone they’ve faced.

The Warriors almost handed Penticton a loss last weekend, rallying from a 6-1 deficit before falling 6-5.

Chilliwack has played Westside five times this season, going 3-1-1-0. The only tie the Chiefs have experienced this season was against the Warriors, who played the home team to a 3-3 draw Jan. 22 at Prospera Centre.

These two teams play twice more between now and the end of the BCHL regular season schedule.

Get a weekend wrap in the Tuesday Chilliwack Progress sports section.

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