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BCHL Playoffs: Tuesday, March 8

(Submitted by Alex Hoegler, BCHL communications)

Offence was aplenty in a Game 3 showdown between the Mainland #2 Wenatchee Wild and #3 Langley Rivermen which required overtime. Kyle Stephan’s game winner 18 seconds into sudden death gave the Wild a 7-6 victory and a 2-1 lead in the series.

In what was an action-filled first period, the Wild jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Charlie Combs scored a hat trick 13:31 into the game, with Daniel Nachbaur also chipping in to give Wenatchee a commanding lead. Jason O’Neill and Torrin White answered back with goals for the Rivermen to cut the lead in half going into the second period.

Langley’s Ryan Barrow and White scored 1:17 apart to tie the game up, before Matthew Baker and August von Ungern added goals to give the Wild a 6-4 lead after two. Matthew Graham scored 4:32 into the third and Justin Szeto scored with 3:52 left in regulation to force overtime, setting the stage for the Stephan’s game-winner, holding off an intense Rivermen comeback.

Both starting goalies got pulled. Wenatchee’s Garrett Nieto was relieved by Chase Perry 16:07 into the first, while Langley’s Bo Didur was pulled at 12:18 of the first in favour of Nickolas Trenciansky. Game 4 goes Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Island’s #1 Nanaimo Clippers took down the #4 Alberni Valley Bulldogs in a 3-2 overtime thriller to grab the lead of the series, 2-1. Yanni Kaldis and Devin Brosseau scored in the first period to give the Clippers a 2-0 lead just past the midpoint of the opening frame. Tristan Bukovec scored for the Bulldogs with 5:12 left to cut the lead in half. Both teams were held scoreless in the second. Rhett Willcox scored for Alberni Valley at 11:52 of the third period to force overtime. Kaldis scored his second goal at 14:01 of overtime to give Nanaimo the series lead. Evan Johnson made 43 saves to help the Clippers win, while Brody Claeys made 30 saves in a losing effort. Game 4 goes Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The Chilliwack Chiefs completed a four-game sweep of the Coquitlam Express on Tuesday with a 5-1 victory on the road to move on to the second round. Kale Kane opened the scoring 4:31 into the first period. Jake Smith and Rylan Bechtel also scored in the opening frame to give the Chiefs a commanding 3-0 lead at the first intermission. Mark Esposito made it 4-0 in the second, with the Express getting on the board after Austin McIlmurray scored at 17:09 heading into the third period. Ryan Forbes made it 5-1 4:15 into the third, which proved to be more than enough for the Chiefs to win. Aidan Pelino had to make just 13 saves on 14 shots faced, while the Express kept their goalie Lawson Fenton much busier with 37 shots against. The Chiefs will play the winner of the Langley Rivermen and Wenatchee Wild.

The Powell River Kings defeated the Cowichan Valley Capitals 4-1. They now hold a commanding 3-1 series lead. Carter Turnbull scored the lone goal in the first period with 1:40 remaining before intermission. Kyle Betts traded goals with Capitals’ Matthew Hudie, before Jonny Evans gave the Kings a 3-1 lead at intermission. Nick Halagian added Powell River’s fourth goal with 41 seconds remaining. Jeff Smith stopped 35 of 36 shots for the victory, while Storm Phaneuf made 23 saves in a losing effort. Game 5 goes 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The Interior #4 Vernon Vipers defeated the #1 Penticton Vees, 2-1 to breathe new life into their season. The win moves the series at 2-1 in favour of Penticton. Odeen Tufto opened the scoring at 12:37 of the first period. The second frame went scoreless, with the league’s top scorer, Scott Conway, tying the game 44 seconds into the third period. Jagger Williamson’s game-winning goal game at 12:03. Anthony Brodeur made 26 saves for Penticton, while Vernon’s Andrew Shortridge was named first star after making 43 saves. Game 4 goes Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks evened the series at two games apiece after getting past the West Kelowna Warriors in a 2-1 victory. Colton Thibault and Ross Heidt scored in the second period for Salmon Arm to carry a 2-0 lead into the third. Connor Sodergen got the Warriors on the board 5:02 into the final frame, but it wasn’t enough to pull off the comeback. Angus Redmond was named first star after stopping 31 shots for the victory. Matthew Greenfield made 40 saves in the loss for West Kelowna. Game 5 goes Friday at 7 p.m.