Thanks to the results of their final games of the season, the Sicamous Eagles will face the 100 Mile House Wranglers to start the playoffs.
It was a foregone conclusion that the Eagles would make the playoffs as the Chase Heat brought up the rear of the Doug Birks Division of the KIJHL’s Okanagan/Shuswap Conference for most of the season, but the race for third place in the division was very much alive. Before their high-stakes matchup on Friday, Feb. 22, the Eagles and Kamloops Storm were neck-and-neck at 40 points each.
The Storm lit the lamp first with a power play goal off the stick of Lucas Gaudet early in the first period. The early marker proved to be the only goal of the first.
Six minutes after the end of the first intermission, Nicholas Cossa of the Eagles got the puck and skated in for an unassisted goal.
Aaron Plessis scored near the midway point of the third period assisted by Justin Hodgson and Jacob Chafe. The Eagles held onto the lead thrilling the home crowd with a 2-1 clutch win.
The slim two-point standings lead over the Storm made both teams Saturday night games important. The Eagles were taking on the division-dominating Revelstoke Grizzlies at the Revelstoke Forum.
The Grizzlies put Eagles netminder Koltin Dodge to work in the opening period, peppering him with 20 shots, three of which found the mesh and were marked on the scoresheet.
The pressure from the Grizzlies skaters continued in the second but Dodge was game for it, keeping all 13 shots he faced out of the net. Late in the period Jack Olson scored for the Eagles assisted by Jordan Sheasgreen and Colby Sherlock.
Neither team scored in the final frame capping off a 3-1 win for the Grizzlies. The Storm tied their game with the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Saturday night leaving them with 41 points, not enough to dislodge the Eagles from third place.
The playoff picture decided in the final weekend of regular season play has the Storm taking on the Grizzlies while the Eagles face the second-seed 100 Mile House Wranglers. The first game of playoffs will be on Tuesday, Feb. 26, with home-ice advantage going to the Wranglers.