Chase can control its destiny as they playSicamous twice, 100 Mile once and Revelsoke once. Sicamous plays the Storm, two against Chase and one against Revelstoke. Sicamous is a bit of an enigma, and I wonder if they are wanting a first round match with the Storm. Their last game they started an affiliate goalie, and while it appears he played well, it is a question, when your starting goalie is one of the best in the league. I always tell my coaches that you never want to deliberately give points away, as it usually comes back to bite you in the rear. Sicamous has strong defence from their entire team, good coaching and responsible forwards. They have the sixth fewest goals against in the entire league, which is a function of their style of play and Joyce has been good in net. So has Turner but he has been hurt over the last while and his status is unknown. This Friday will be a huge game for Chase and Sicamous when they meet in Sicamous. They will play each other again on Saturday. If Chase wins either game they will pretty much clinch at least third place. Chase has control of its own destiny for home ice advantage.
Confusing? Not much difference in the other divisions. Golden and Columbia Valley have the same points and games remaining. They meet each other in the final game of the year on February 22 and that might be the deciding of who goes home and who plays Creston. Fernie will play in Kimberley in the other playoff matchup. The Okanagan is mostly sorted out with Kelowna probably meeting North Okanagan in round one, with Summerland meeting Osoyoos. Technically things could still change between Summerland a and Kelowna and they do have to play each other 2 more times. I am predicting status quo. North Okanagan starting in Kelowna and Summerland at home to Osoyoos. North Ok is the only team with a winning record against the Storm, winning both games.
All teams are alive in the West Kootenay division, although Grand Forks are well back but still have 7 games to play awhile Spokane has only 2 games remaining. Spokane and Castlegar are one point apart, so anyone of those 3 teams could finish from third to fifth. It would be a struggle for Grand Forks as they play Beaver Valley and Nelson in the last two weeks. The real battle is for first in the division. Nelson is up 4 points but have two less games to play than BV. BV has allowed the least goals against and the two teams should win most of their remaining games. Beaver Valley would seem to have the tougher schedule, however the last game of the season will see the two teams play each other. That could be the game that decides first place in that division. Both teams look to have one extremely strong line. Vlanich and Wellman are first and third in league scoring for Nelson, while Edwards and Calvin are also in the top 10 for BV. The two teams split last weekend so it is anyone's guess. Home ice is important for all teams but maybe more so for BV, as they seem to have a team built for their home barn. Both teams have excellent home records. A point of interest is that the final game will be in beaver valley. Beaver Valley has the best defence in the league three goals fewer allowed than the Storm. Nelson has scored 28 more goals than BV.
Stay tuned as things unfold. go Storm