Chase Nameth (left) and his first place Chilliwack Chiefs survived a scare against the 17th place Surrey Eagles Saturday, scoring two third period goals to win 4-1. JENNA HAUCK/ THE PROGRESS

Chilliwack Chiefs close to clinching top spot in the BCHL

The Chiefs can lock up home ice advantage throughout the playoffs with a winning week.

The Chilliwack Chiefs hit the 40 win plateau Saturday night, beating the Surrey Eagles 4-1 at Prospera Centre to improve their league-leading record to 40-12-1-0.

They have a crack at two more milestones this week.

A combination of six points in Chiefs wins/ties/overtime losses and Prince George losses will clinch first place overall in the BCHL standings and first in the Mainland division.

The chance to have home-ice advantage throughout the BCHL playoffs is huge.

The Chiefs have the best home-ice record in the league at 20-5-0-0, with a win percentage of .815 at Prospera Centre. Being home for a decisive game seven against PG or Penticton could be the difference between a win or loss.

“I think it was the difference in last year’s first round,” said Chiefs bench boss Brian Maloney. “If we were playing Prince George here instead of there, who knows, it could have been a different story.

“You like your chances playing an elimination game on home ice, no doubt, especially if you factor in travel.”

Home ice isn’t what it used to be when intimidation was a bigger factor in hockey. When Maloney played for the Chiefs, the old Chilliwack Coliseum was a place visiting teams feared.

“I run into guys I played against 20 years ago and they still talk about the Coliseum and how they hated coming here,” Maloney said with a laugh. “And I don’t blame them. I tell them with a grin that I loved playing there.

“But even now in some arenas, home ice is still an advantage and I think for us it definitely is. We have fantastic fans and a great atmosphere at Prospera.

“And going into Prince George or Penticton is still very tough.”

Chilliwack puts an eight game win streak on the line Wednesday when they visit the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (26-21-4-1).

Then it’s back to back home games Saturday against Nanaimo (25-27-1-0) and Sunday against PG (35-12-1-5).

The Chiefs could be in position to wrap up the league and division against the Spruce Kings if they get wins in those first two games.

They might already have it in the bag if they beat Salmon Arm and Nanaimo and PG loses a Thursday night home game versus West Kelowna.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Financial literacy program expands across the Fraser Valley

Big Brain Literacy Program aims to help folks thwarted by the pandemic and in need of budgeting help

Major ride-hailing companies can now operate in Harrison

Vancouver gives green light to Uber, Lyft

Missing Maple Ridge man’s car found in Harrison

Michael Denham has been missing since June 27

UFV grads of 2020 honoured in innovative ways

No convocation ceremony due to pandemic, but grads receive ‘celebration box’

Peak on the lower Fraser River expected to arrive Monday

Peak predicted for July 6, with flows decreasing from there: River Forecast Centre

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Pubs accused of ‘negligently’ serving alcohol before Surrey traffic crash

The case concerns an Aug. 2, 2015 single-vehicle crash

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Camping offers a great pandemic escape, for less money than you might think

But for many first-timers, knowing what to bring can be a challenge

Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

Thousands of people have beseeched Transport Minister Marc Garneau to compel airlines to issue refunds,

Most Read