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Shaw BCHL Playoff Recap: Mar. 31

Salmon Arm Silverbacks – 2
Prince George Spruce Kings – 1

Silverbacks goalie Matthew Tovell stole the show in Game 1 of their first-round series, stopping 34 of the 35 shots he faced to lead his team to a 2-1 victory. After a scoreless opening frame, the ‘Backs got on the board via an Ethan Ullrick marker, but the Spruce Kings replied before the end of the second when John Herrington potted his first career playoff goal. The score remained tied until Isaac Lambert broke the deadlock with a tally 4:25 into the third, which stood up as the game-winner. Prince George goalie Jordan Fairlie made 33 saves in a losing effort. Game 2 goes tomorrow night back in Salmon Arm.

West Kelowna Warriors – 4
Vernon Vipers – 3

Brennan Nelson had a goal and two assists and Christopher Duclair had a two-point night, including the game-winning goal, helping the Warriors to an all important opening game win over the Vipers in Game 1. This back-and-forth affair saw three lead changes and a late charge by Vernon to tie it up, but West Kelowna prevailed in the end. Lee Parks and Hank Cleaves each had a goal and an assist for the Vipers in the loss.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs – 7
Victoria Grizzlies – 5

Bulldogs forward Nicholas Beneteau led the way with a pair of goals and an assist, while five other Alberni Valley players recorded multi-point nights, as the Bulldogs outlasted a tenacious Grizzlies squad by a 7-5 final. Alberni built up a 4-1 lead, only to see Victoria cut it to a one-goal edge, then went ahead 6-3, only to see the away team come back to get within one again, before David Sacco finally sealed the game with empty-netter in the final minute. Owen Bohn scored twice for the Grizzlies who will look to bounce back tomorrow night in Game 2.

Cranbrook Bucks – 3
Wenatchee Wild – 1

The Bucks took advantage of having home-ice advantage in the postseason for the first time in their existence as they rode the home crowd to a 3-1 victory over the Wild. Carsyn Good opened the scoring for Cranbrook in the middle stanza before Parker Murray tied it up later in the frame, but the home team went ahead for good after Cooper Boulanger and Donovan Frias scored later in the second. Nathan Airey stopped 29 of 30 shots in the win.

Chilliwack Chiefs – 4
Coquitlam Express – 1

After a scoreless first period, the Chiefs exploded for three goals in the middle frame and went on to defeat the Express 4-1 in their series opener. Mateo Mrsic, Tim Delay and Brian Morse each scored in the second period and AJ Lacroix closed things out with an empty net goal late, while Austin McNicholas made 32 stops to earn the win in his playoff debut. Evan Brown had the lone goal for Coquitlam.

Nanaimo Clippers – 4
Langley Rivermen – 0

Nanaimo blanked Langley 4-0 on Friday night on the strength of two goals from Charles Tardif and a 30-save shutout by Aidan Campbell. Jérémie Payant and Brody Waters had the other two goals for the Clippers and defenceman Brett Merner chipped in with a trio of assists. Special teams were the difference in this one as three of Nanaimo’s four goals came with the man advantage.

Surrey Eagles – 4
Powell River Kings – 0

Michael Sochan stopped all 29 shots he faced to earn a shutout in his first BCHL playoff game and Tate Taylor provided three assists as the Eagles topped the Kings 4-0 in their series opener. Zachary Wagnon, Ante Zlomislic and Ryden Evers each chipped in with a goal and an assist, while Jacob Bonkowski had Surrey’s other goal, his third career postseason marker.

Penticton Vees – 8
Trail Smoke Eaters – 2

BCHL leading scorer and MVP finalist Bradly Nadeau picked up right where he left off in the regular season, scoring four goals in the Vees playoff opener as they beat Trail 8-2. His brother and fellow MVP finalist Josh assisted on three of his goals, while Brett Moravec chipped in with a pair of markers himself. Penticton heavily outshot the Smoke Eaters 45-19 in the game. Adam Marshall and Ethan Mann scored for the away side, who will look to rebound in Game 2 tomorrow night.