The Salmon Arm Silverbacks advanced to the BCHL’s Interior Conference final against the Vernon Vipers in the B.C. Hockey League’s NHL 20 simulated video game version of the 2020 playoffs. (BCHL photo)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks meet Snakes in BCHL simulated conference final

BCHL turns to video game and players from remaining teams to crown a simulated league playoff winner

The Vernon Vipers and Salmon Arm Silverbacks will meet in the B.C. Hockey League’s 2020 Interior Conference final.

Wait, what?

Well, yes, the on-ice BCHL season was canceled due to COVID-19, but the league is having fun with the situation off-ice.

With no Fred Page Cup being awarded for the 2019-20 season, the league has decided to go in another direction. They’ve partnered with the remaining eight playoff teams and their players to launch an NHL 20 simulation of the Shaw BCHL Playoffs.

“The format has a player representative from each team that would have matched up in the second round go head to head online in NHL 20 to determine the winner of the simulated series,” said BCHL communications officer Jesse Adamson. “The league has created BCHL players, teams and jerseys in the game to make it as authentic a BCHL experience as possible.”

The series are packaged into highlight reels that include BCHL broadcasters, including the Vipers’ Graham Turnbull, as well as videos of the participating players.

READ MORE: Vernon Vipers tweet out award winners

Salmon Arm Silverbacks goalie Ethan Langenegger took on BCHL scoring champion Kent Johnson of the Trail Smoke Eaters, and helped the Gorillas beat the Smokies in six games in the simulated series.

Vernon Vipers defenceman Trey Taylor took on Conner Hutchinson of the Penticton Vees in the other conference semifinal with Taylor and the Vipers winning the series in seven games in Penticton. Matt Kowalski appears to have scored the series-winning goal for Vernon.

“The BCHL season may have been canceled, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bit of fun during this unfortunate downtime,” said Adamson.

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