Column: Warriors look legit as they take down Chiefs

In this week's column, Jacob Bestebroer says the West Kelowna Warriors are a daunting foe in the third round of the BCHL playoffs.

When the West Kelowna Warriors lost the first two games of the BCHL’s Interior division final versus the heavily favored Penticton Vees, nobody outside of West Kelowna thought they had a chance to come back.

But that’s exactly what they did, winning the next four games to advance to round three versus the Chilliwack Chiefs and Nanaimo Clippers.

The Vees put together one of the best regular seasons in BCHL history, losing just seven out of 58 games.

Not once did they lose two in a row and in fact, you’d have to go back almost four calendar years to find the last time Penticton lost four straight.

Tuesday night, everyone at Prospera Centre saw how the Warriors were able to do it.

In beating the Chiefs 5-1, they showed no weakness in their game.

They are big. They are skilled. They have an excellent transition game that enables them to create scoring chances off their opponent’s mistakes in all three zones. They have excellent goaltending and this is a team built to win in the playoffs.

The round three format that involves three teams is both complicated and simple. It’s complicated because at some point next week the schedule could change. Forget that and just remember that once a team wins three games, they move on to the final. The other two teams then play each other until a second team has a total of three wins which will put them in the best-of-seven final.

One of the other two teams will have a chance to advance with three straight wins but they’ll have to do it against the Chiefs. Last night (Thursday) Nanaimo was in West Kelowna.

If the Warriors won that game, they will have two wins and will be off until they host Chilliwack next Wednesday.

A win in that game puts them in the finals. If Nanaimo won that game, they can advance to the final with wins against Chilliwack in Nanaimo on Saturday and in Chilliwack on Monday. If the Chiefs can win both those games against Nanaimo, they will have a chance to advance to the final when they play in West Kelowna on Wednesday.

No matter what happens, Monday will not be the Chiefs last home game of the season. They’ll either play one more in this round, and/or advance to the league finals.

The Chiefs will be broadcasting all their games in this round.

You can listen to the games via the link on the left side of the Chiefs home page on their website. You also have the option of watching the games (pay per view) on fasthockey.com.