Game 5 will have already been played when you read this, but as I write it the result is hours away. I believe Beaver Valley will prevail, but I am less than sure who there opponent will be in the division final.
Whatever you predicted, I hope you showed up at your team’s barn last night, because, especially when it comes to kids, support during games can be a critical motivator.
• Meanwhile, the permutations in the BCHL Interior Division are Byzantine.
When the Smoke Eaters hit the ice in Merritt tomorrow, the Centennials will likely be in desperation mode. Merritt enters this weekend needing just one win to salt away a playoff spot. Tonight they travel to Salmon Arm to face a team that has handled them rather easily in recent games and anything but a victory will leave them needing to beat the Smoke Eaters to get into the post-season.
The trouble for Merritt is that the Smokies have played them very tough of late, even winning a game in the Centennials rink in January and losing only in overtime and an empty-net score two goal loss more recently.
The West Kelowna Warriors are still in the mix, too. The Warriors lone remaining game is against the woefull Surrey Eagles. How woeful, you ask – how does 20 points worse than the Smoke Eaters while playing in the league’s weakest division sound?
Unfortunately for the Warriors, who enter tonight in a three-way tie for the last interior post season spot after, just barely, taking care of business against Trail over the past week, they will need Merritt to lose two games or Salmon Arm to lose at least once – due to the tiebreaker advantage they have on the Silverbacks – this weekend to make the grade. It is never fun not being in control of your own destiny.
It is too bad this entertaining version of the local squad, in part at least due to difficult injury situations, came up on the wrong side of the inch so often this year that they have only pride to play for this weekend.
We will hope the rousing support they received in another tight losing effort Saturday at Cominco Arena (in which effort they, once again, lost a key performer very early on) will fuel Trail to impact the fate of their division in their last kick at the 2014/15 BCHL can.
Then we will wait for the off season deliberations to decide whether such fun as even this frustrating season has provided will be around again next year.