Playoff recap – March 2

Ethan Scardina scored twice in the first period and that’s all the offence the Nanaimo Clippers would need as Jordan Naylor shut the door the rest of the way, backstopping his team to a 2-1 victory over the Powell River Kings in Game 2 of the Island Division semifinals and evening the series at one game apiece.

All the scoring in this one came in a span of less than three minutes at the end of the opening frame. Scardina got Nanaimo on the board with his first of the playoffs at the 17:05 mark, but Rowan Miller tied things up for Powell River 32 seconds later. Scardina then buried a power-play marker with four seconds to go in the period and it stood up as the game-winner.

The Kings outshot the Clippers 35-25, but it was Nanaimo’s power play that made the difference. Each team had four chances with the man advantage, but the Clippers were the only team to score and that goal ended up being the deciding factor. The teams get back at it on Monday night in Nanaimo for Game 3 of the series.

The Vernon Vipers needed overtime to get their first win of the playoffs as Josh Latta scored 8:46 into the extra frame to give his team a 2-1 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, evening the series at 1-1. Hudson Schandor gave Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead late in the second period, but Jesse Lansdell tied the game in the third with his second of the postseason, setting up Latta’s heroics in overtime. Vipers goalie Aidan Porter made 24 saves in the win.

Lucas Vanroboys deflected in a Max Coyle point shot for a power-play goal late in the first overtime period giving the Prince George Spruce Kings a 3-2 win over the Coquitlam Express to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. Coquitam’s Josh Wildauer scored 2:39 into the game and that stood up as the only goal until Chong Min Lee tied it for Prince George midway through the third period. Wildauer scored his second of the game with just over four minutes to go in the third, but Ben Brar replied to even things up before the end of regulation. Logan Neaton stopped 27 of 29 shots for the win, while Kolby Matthew made 36 saves in a losing effort.

In the third (and longest) overtime game of the night, it was the Langley Rivermen with the late-game heroics for the second night in a row, this time Mark Gallant got the winner with five minutes to go in double overtime as the Rivermen beat the top-seeded Chilliwack Chiefs 3-2 to go up 2-0 heading back to Langley for Game 3. In the first period, Skyler Brind’Amour gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead with his second of the playoffs, but Langley responded with goals just over two minutes apart from Jake Livingstone and Gallant to take a 2-1 lead after one. Brett Willits tied the game 12:48 into the second period then the goalies shut things down until Gallant played hero with his second of the game in double overtime. Braedon Fleming faced 54 shots and stopped 52 of them to pick up his second win of the postseason, while Chiefs goalie Daniel Chenard stopped 38 in the loss.

Murphy Stratton and Blake Bargar each had a pair of goals and Matt Dorsey chipped in with a goal and three helpers as the Wenatchee Wild began their title defence with a 5-4 victory over the West Kelowna Warriors. Mike Hardman scored the only goal of the opening frame as the Warriors led 1-0 after one, but the Wild owned the second as Stratton, Bargar and Dorsey each tallied to give their team the 3-1 edge heading into the third. Bargar scored his second of the game early in the period, but West Kelowna started the comeback with goals from Parm Dhaliwal and Lucas Cullen to cut the lead to one. Stratton restored the two-goal edge late in the third, but Hardman cut it back down to one with 1:34 to go. Wenatchee managed to hang on the rest of the way to get the win. The Wild outshot the Warriors 43-27 and went 2-for-4 on the power play, while West Kelowna scored on their only advantage.

Mack Byers scored twice, Trevor Zins had a goal and an assist and Donovan Buskey stopped 32 of 34 shots as the Trail Smoke Eaters beat the Merritt Centennials 5-2 to even their series at one. Both of Byers’ goals came in the first period and gave Trail a 2-0 lead, but Matthew Kopperud scored his third of the series to make it 2-1 after the opening frame. Zins restored the Smokies’ two-goal lead with the only marker in the second, while Kent Johnson and Hayden Rowan added on for Trail in the third. Rylan Van Unen had the other goal for Merritt who will hope to bounce back in Game 3 in Trail on Tuesday.

BCHL leading scorer Alex Newhook scored his first of the playoffs and the first of the game for the Victoria Grizzlies in the second period and it stood up as the game-winner as the Grizzlies beat the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 5-0 and took a 2-0 series lead. Nico Somerville scored again for Victoria in the second and Kenny Johnson, Kyle McGrath and Alexander Campbell scored in the third. Victoria threw 42 shots on goal in the game, while netminder Kurtis Chapman made 22 saves for the shutout.

The Penticton Vees avenged their opening-night playoff loss by beating the Cowichan Valley Capitals 4-1 in Game 2 to tie the series at one. Ryan Sandelin got the Vees on the board in the first period, but Brady Lynn replied for the Caps to make it 1-1 heading into the intermission. David Silye and Eric Linell both scored in the second and Andre Ghantous sealed the game with an empty-netter to make it a 4-1 final. Penticton goalie Jack LaFontaine made 22 saves to get the win.