Chilliwack Chiefs stumbling as regular season comes to a close

The junior A club is in danger of losing home ice advantage to Surrey in the BCHL playoffs.

The Chilliwack Chiefs lost for the ninth time in their last 10 outings Wednesday night, falling 5-4 to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on home ice.

The Chiefs led 2-0 early in the second period on a power play goal by Hudson Thornton and an even-strength snipe from Brett Rylance.

But Salmon Arm roared back with three unanswered to lead 3-2 through 40 minutes.

Chilliwack’s Jack Agnew briefly drew his team even in the final frame, scoring his third of the season on a power play, but Salmon Arm retook the lead less than three minutes later on a goal by Daniel Rybarik.

Nikita Nesterenko scored at 17:11 to knot the score at 4-4, but Rybarik struck again just eight seconds later with the winning goal.

Mathieu Caron stopped 19 of 24 pucks in the Chilliwack net.

Ethan Langenegger stopped 18 of 22 shots at the other end.

With just one regular season game to go before the playoffs, the Chiefs have fallen into a tie for third place in the Mainland division with Surrey. The Eagles have the tie-break with wins and would have home ice advantage against Chilliwack in the opening round of the playoffs.

Chilliwack’s final game is Sunday afternoon (2 p.m.) at home versus Langley.

The Eagles host Langley Friday night.

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