Vees the favourites as third round starts

Penticton's regular season record makes them the top dog in the double round robin, says columnist Jacob Bestebroer.

It’s been 10 days since the Chiefs won their second round series over the Prince George Spruce Kings and tonight they finally begin round three in Nanaimo.

This is the second year the BCHL has used its unusual double round-robin playoff format and we’ll find out this summer if it returns for a third season.

Using this format allows the league to stick to three divisions and minimize travel costs for the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs.

The Penticton Vees finished the regular season with 93 points, 14 more than the second place Nanaimo Clippers and 15 more than the Chiefs.

They are the obvious favorites in this round and started with a 4-1 home ice victory over the Clippers Wednesday.

It was no surprise that the Clippers finished first in the Island Division.

It was surprising that they needed the full seven games in each of their first two series to dispatch of Alberni Valley and Powell River. They are the most physical of the three remaining teams, something they pride themselves on.

The only guaranteed home game for the Chiefs this round is Sunday  versus Penticton at 7 p.m. and I can’t wait for this one.

Two of the most entertaining games the Chiefs played this season were against the Vees.

The  first game, played in Penticton in December was a 1-1 tie, and the Vees won 3-2 in overtime at

 

Prospera Centre in February.

The remaining teams were very good on home ice this season and avoiding a home loss could be the key to advancing to the league finals.

Tickets for Sunday’s game have been selling briskly all week and if you are planning on coming, it may be a good idea to purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid the expected lineups.

You can purchase tickets online at chilliwackchiefs.net.

The Prospera Centre Box Office will be open Saturday from noon till 3 p.m. and will open at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The Chiefs travel to Penticton on Tuesday.

There is a fan bus going to the game leaving at 2:30 p.m.. It was filling up nicely but check the Chiefs website and Facebook page for more details.

The cost is $50 and includes your ticket to the game.

As this round robin plays out there is a chance one of the two final games will not be needed and one of those games is Nanaimo in Chilliwack on April 4.

Keep an eye on the Chiefs website or follow them on twitter, Facebook or Instagram to see when and if this game becomes necessary.

All the Chiefs games will be broadcast online. The link can be found on the Chiefs home page. Fans can also watch all Chiefs games on a pay per view basis via www.fasthockey.com.