Matchups set as the BCHL playoffs start

Twelve teams step into postseason hockey as six BCHL first round playoff series start.

The regular season is over and the BCHL playoffs have begun, sans Chilliwack Chiefs.

The Chiefs closed 58 games with a record of 14-37-2-5, finishing fifth in the Mainland division.

The Langley Rivermen (37-13–3-5) finished first and claimed the Ron Boileau Trophy for having the league’s top record.

They’re facing the fourth place Surrey Eagles (25-30-1-2) in a best-of-seven first round series. The second place Prince George Spruce Kings (32-20-4-2) take  on the third place Coquitlam Express (27-26-2-3).

In the Island division, the first place Victoria Grizzlies (37-15-3-3) tackle the fourth place Alberni Valley Bulldogs (21-28-27), while the second place Powell River Kings (36-16-2-4) meet Nanaimo (27-28-1-2).

The Cowichan Valley Capitals missed the playoffs by a single point, leap-frogged by the Bulldogs on the final night of the season.

In the Interior conference, first place Penticton (36-16-2-4) meets fourth place Merritt (31-22-4-1).

The second place West Kelowna Warriors (35-15-3-5) and third place Vernon Vipers (30-18-4-6) square off in what should be an epic series.

The round one winners  meet in the division finals, also in best-of-seven format.

With three division champs still alive after round two, a new playoff format will be used for the first time.

Round three will see each team host the other two in a round-robin series.

One club will be eliminated based on wins and losses.

The last teams standing will go head to head in a best-of-seven Fred Page Cup Final.