March 5th Update: With a convincing 5-1 over Okanagan, VIU has advanced to the BCIHL Finals for a rematch of the thrilling Quarterfinal
March 4th Update: SFU has advanced to the BCIHL Finals with a 6-2 win over VIU after a late come-from-behind win. The Okanagan Lakers hung on to defeat UVIC with a 2-1 victoriy and will face VIU in the Semifinal on March 5th. The winner of that game advances to face SFU on Championship Sunday.
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The BCIHL is set to host playoff games for the first time in 3 years, and to say there was some built up anticipation would be an understatement.
The BCIHL Championships will take place on March 4th, 5th and 6th at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre in Burnaby. The Page Playoff format was selected to complement this year's pandemic-shortened season.
After finishing the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record, SFU are hometown favourites to win the title. The Burnaby boys (and girl) are not getting ahead of themselves, as the youthful team with 13 rookies know all too well SFU's lengthy 10 year absence from the BCIHL podium. Captain Mitch Ledyard (North Van Wolfpack, PJHL) has helped the team navigate many challenges this season, none bigger than the 4-3 shootout win over the Okanagan Lakers in their final regular season game.
The VIU Mariners head into playoffs with plenty to be happy with, currently 6-5 on the season with 1 game to play. The Mariners have a core of senior players that bring a physical, blue collar style of play that may cause problems for SFU in the Quarterfinal matchup. Rookie Brock Palmer (Kimberley Dynamiters, KIJHL) has complimented the bruising lineup with speed and skill, sitting 2 points back of the BCIHL scoring title.
The UVIC Vikes are surging at the right time, winning 3 of their last 4 games. Rookie Finn Withey (Revelstoke Grizzlies, KIJHL) leads the team in scoring while 4th year senior and captain Kenny Britton (Victoria Cougars, VIJHL) looks to finish his BCIHL career helping UVIC win their record setting 5th BCIHL title.
The expansion Okanagan Lakers, with 2 games yet to play, can still overtake UVIC in the standings. The Lakers have come out on the losing end of 5 one-goal games dating back to pre-season, including 3 shootout losses to SFU. The upstart program should carry plenty of confidence into playoffs knowing they can skate with every team in the BCIHL. UVIC transfer Daniel Paul (Osoyoos Coyotes, KIJHL) leads the team with a 2.20 GAA and .937 SV%, while Arik Breton (Nipawin Hawks, SJHL) leads the team in scoring. One must not forget the fact that the Lakers captain, Adrian Van de Mosselaer played 4 seasons in the WHL with the Edmonton Oil Kings, wearing an 'A' in his final season.
Tickets for the championship tournament in Burnaby can be purchased by clicking here.
British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League
Burnaby, British Columbia
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