In a home-and-away battle for home ice playoff advantage, the Chase Heat and Sicamous Eagles split the pair of games – the result being the Eagles will face the KIJHL league-leading Kamloops Storm while the Heat will face the 100 Mile House Wranglers.
Still to be determined is who will have home- ice advantage as it will be determined by a head-to-head meeting.
With two games left, the Heat hold their destiny in their hands Wednesday at home versus Revelstoke, and then Friday the 21st in 100 Mile House. 100 Mile faces Kamloops twice and Chase once.
The best-of-seven first round starts Tuesday, Feb. 25 in either 100 Mile or Chase. So two games on the 25th and 26th followed by a shift in location for two on the 28th and March 1.
If needed, the series will bounce back and forth on the 3rd, 4th and 5th. Watch for updates on the website to confirm game locales.
On Friday the 14th in Sicamous, the Heat may as well have stayed on the bus along with a total lack of grit and determination. The end result was an unflattering 5-2 loss.
The Eagles got three in the first, no scoring in the 2nd and an exchange of two each in the third. Connor Venne (Johnson/Boyle) got a power-play marker and Nic Fidanza (Hodges/Boyle) got the second. Jake Mattes stopped 26 of 31 in going the distance in goal.
At home on the 15th it looked like more of the same as the Eagles scored three in the first prior to sharp-shooting Boyle (Venne/Johnson) getting a power-play goal. Sicamous got one in the 2nd prior to Fidanza (Boyle/Koskimaki) getting things rolling.
A far different team showed up on the ice in the third, showing grit, skill and determination. It was all Chase as they scored five unanswered goals. Boyle (Summers/Okino) on the power play, Braden Hughes (Durbeniuk/Hoskins), Cody Koskimaki (Hodges) on the power play, Zac Hoskins (Passmore/Guardiero), and an empty netter by Cody Hodges (Fidanza/Venne). Mattes stopped 41 of 45 to backstop the victory.
The Heat and Wranglers are tied with 52 points but Chase has 25 wins to 23 for 100 Mile.