The Central Interior Hockey League’s second season is now scheduled, with the defending champion Quesnel Kangaroos facing Smithers. Their first game goes Saturday (Feb. 10) at the West Fraser Centre.
When the Nechako North Stars and Kangaroos took the ice in Quesnel on Sunday, it was for the final berth in the playoffs.
It would also decide who would have home ice advantage in that division’s semi-final series.
The Smithers Steelheads’ loss in Rupert the night before left Smithers in second place with 13 points, Quesnel in third at 11 points and Nechako in fourth with nine points.
A North Stars win would put the team in a tie for third with Quesnel.
That would give the Vanderhoof/Fort St. James squad the last playoff spot as the win would also give them the season series against Quesnel.
Sunday’s game was a relatively high-scoring affair, but in the end, the Roos were two better than the Stars, taking second place in the east with a 6-4 win in Quesnel.
Therefore, the western division semi-final starts Saturday, Feb. 10 in Prince Rupert, followed by Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) in Hazelton Feb. 17 and 18.
The Rampage will be looking to erase the memory of last year’s first-round embarrassment of being swept by the Wolverines after finishing first in the west with a perfect regular season record.
In the east, Quesnel’s hopes of repeating as the CIHL league champions will have to go through Smithers to get a shot at Williams Lake, the top team.
The Kangaroos will be at home in Quesnel for Game 1 of their three-game series on Feb. 10, followed by Game 2 and (if necessary) Game 3 in Smithers the following week.
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