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BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs clinch home ice advantage in BCHL playoffs

Bulldogs will face either the Langley Rivermen or Coquitlam Express in first round

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have officially clinched home ice advantage for Round One of the 2024 B.C. Hockey League playoffs.

The Bulldogs picked up two wins last weekend on their way to clinch home ice advantage, including a 3-2 overtime thriller against the visiting Powell River Kings on Saturday.

The weekend started with a home game against the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday, March 22. The first period was scoreless, but Port Alberni’s Grayson Badger opened scoring early in the second and Hayden Stavroff doubled the Bulldogs’ lead less than a minute later. Chilliwack scored their lone goal of the game near the end of the second period.

Early in the third, Stavroff picked up a powerplay marker for his second goal of the game to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead. Badger also picked up another goal and Braden Blace scored to give the Bulldogs a 5-1 win. Bulldogs goaltender Callum Tung made 29 saves in the win.

Both the second and third period of the game were chippy, with players from both teams taking roughing penalties and penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct.

On Saturday, the Kings entered action fighting for their playoff lives. They opened scoring on the game’s first shot, but the Bulldogs got goals from Philippe Lalonde and Blace to give the home team a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Powell River found an equalizer in the third to send the game to overtime, but Jacob Terpstra scored 9:47 into overtime to win the game for the Bulldogs.

The results from all of the BCHL’s games last weekend mean that the Bulldogs will finish no worse than third in the Coastal Conference and will face either the Langley Rivermen or the Coquitlam Express in Round One of the playoffs.

The Bulldogs will close out the regular season with one last pair of home games. On Friday, March 29, they take on the conference-leading Surrey Eagles. On Saturday, March 30, they will host the Rivermen and celebrate the careers of their six graduating 20-year-old players. Puck drop for both games is 7 p.m.

About the Author: Alberni Valley News Staff

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