It’s both simple and complicated.
The simple part is if the Chilliwack Chiefs defeat West Kelowna on home ice Sunday at 5 p.m., they will advance to the BCHL finals for the first time since 2003.
Should the Chiefs lose Sunday they will have one more chance to advance to the league finals and here is where it gets a bit complicated.
Remember there are three teams in this round and the first two teams to reach three wins advance to the league finals.
With the Chiefs win in West Kelowna on Wednesday, they finish the third round double round robin with two wins.
Tonight (Friday) West Kelowna (one win) visits Nanaimo (two wins).
Possibility number one: Nanaimo wins this game.
If Nanaimo wins they will have three wins and will advance to the league finals and have home ice advantage.
That leaves Chilliwack (two wins) and West Kelowna (one win).
Those two teams will face each other Sunday at Prospera Centre.
If the Chiefs win that game, they will advance to face Nanaimo in the league finals. Should West Kelowna win, the two teams will meet again in West Kelowna on Tuesday with the winner of that game going on to the league finals.
Possibility number two: West Kelowna wins in Nanaimo Friday.
Should West Kelowna win in Nanaimo Friday, all three teams will finish the round robin with two wins and here’s what happens then.
West Kelowna would face Chilliwack in Chilliwack on Sunday. The winner of that game goes to the best of seven league finals and will have home ice advantage.
The loser of that game faces Nanaimo Tuesday in a venue to be determined with the winner of that game advancing to the league finals to face the winner of the Chilliwack versus West Kelowna game.
Why that second game is in Nanaimo escapes me but that is the way it would happen.
All the ticket information for Sunday’s game is on the Chiefs website. I would advise you to try and avoid the game day lineups for tickets if you can.
Tickets can be purchased online and emailed to you or you can come down to Prospera Centre in person.
All the hours of operation are listed on the Chiefs site.
Wednesday’s game in West Kelowna was two games in one.
The first half of the game was all Chilliwack as they built up a deserved 3-0 lead. The second half was all West Kelowna. They were relentless and fought right till the end getting the tying goal with just 13 seconds left in regulation.
Going into overtime I thought the Chiefs would have to weather a three or four minute storm and if they did that they had a decent chance to get the win. It didn’t play out that way. While West Kelowna did get the first good chance, it was that chance that actually led to Jordan Kawaguchi’s winner 59 seconds in.
Chiefs goaltender Aidan Pelino made an outstanding left leg save. The puck went to defenceman Rylan Bechtel who cleared it up and sprung Kawaguchi on a semi breakaway.