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BCHL Playoffs: Friday, March 11

Liam Blackburn completed a hat trick in the second period to lead the West Kelowna Warriors to a 6-3 home win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks that give the Warriors a 3-2 series edge.

After a scoreless first, Blackburn scored twice in 2:17 to give the Warriors the lead before Josh Blanchard got the ‘Backs on the board. But Nick Rutigliano, Jonathan Desbiens and Blackburn replied to make it a five-goal second period for the Warriors, putting them in command heading to the third period.

Salmon Arm inserted Brandon Kegler in net for the final frame and the ‘Backs crept within two on goals by Josh Laframboise and Mitch Skapski but they’d get no closer. Kylar Hope sealed the deal with an empty-net goal with 55 seconds left to play. Game 6 goes Saturday at 7 p.m. in Salmon Arm.

Zach Driscoll made all 26 saves and Easton Brodzinski scored twice in the second period as the Penticton Vees eliminated the Vernon Vipers with a 5-0 home win in Game 5. Nic Jones’ power-play goal in the first wound up being all the offence needed but Mitch Brooks, Brodzinski and Tyson Jost added on in the second to complete the Vees’ scoring on the night. Penticton moves on to Round 2 where they’ll face either West Kelowna or Salmon Arm.

Blake Christensen’s goal in the second period wound up being the game-winner as the Wenatchee Wild claimed a 3-1 win over the host Langley Rivermen that gave the Wild the series win as well, 4-1. Colin Burston’s power-play effort put the Wild up 1-0 after one and Christensen added on in the second. Cameron Ginnetti got the Rivermen back within one on the man advantage midway through the final frame but Kyle Stephan clinched it for the Wild with an empty-net goal with 14 seconds to go. Wenatchee will face Chilliwack in Round 2 starting March 18.

Nolan Aibel’s first of two goals on the night wound up being the winner for the Nanaimo Clippers in a 7-3 home win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs that also gives the Clips a 4-1 series win. Chris Dodero and Sheldon Rempal put Nanaimo ahead 2-0 after one and in the second, after Eric Margo got the ‘Dogs on the board, Will Reilly, Aibel, Devin Brosseau and Corey Renwick responded to put the Clips up 6-1 going to the third. Alberni Valley got markers from Paul Meyer and Tristan Bukovec in the final frame but Aibel added his second shortly after to round out the scoring. Nanaimo awaits the winner of the Cowichan Valley-Powell River series in Round 2.