So, what is the BCHL Double Round Robin? That’s a question I and others in the Vees organization have been fielding since Sunday night. Well, the BCHL instituted the unique playoff format last year after they returned to divisional playoffs last year. The problem with a divisional playoff bracket, was there were three teams left after the Division Championship round. Solution? A three-team, double round robin, where the two teams with the best records after the double round robin is completed, move on to the Fred Page Cup Final.
Confused? Don’t worry, the BCHL did come out with a “Round-Robin Game-Tracker” and the PDF version is just one click away (click the link at the top of the page). The Game-Tracker has all six games and their dates listed and provides the tie-breaker criteria. Teams get two points for a win but NO points for an overtime loss; there is no ties. Overtime format is continuous, 20-minute five-on-five overtime periods until a winner is decided.
After two best-of-seven rounds in the BCHL playoffs, three teams remain in the race: Penticton, Nanaimo and Chilliwack. Nanaimo were crowned Island Division Champs after beating Powell River in a seven-game series. Chilliwack came out of the Mainland Division after beating Prince George in four straight; they haven’t played since March 18th.
There’s six total games (two if necessary) and every team can play up to four games. Depending on the outcomes of games, one team can be eliminated from the double round robin before every team plays four games. As soon as one team is eliminated, the round robin ends and the other two teams advance to the Fred Page Cup Final.
BCHL Double Round Robin Schedule:
Wednesday, March 25th: Nanaimo at Penticton 7pm
Friday, March 27th: Chilliwack at Nanaimo 7pm
Sunday, March 29th: Penticton at Chilliwack 7pm
Tuesday, March 31st: Chilliwack at Penticton 7pm
*Thursday, April 2nd: Penticton at Nanaimo 7pm
*Saturday, April 4th: Nanaimo at Chilliwack 7pm
As the BCHL Double Round Robin schedule is laid out, Nanaimo is the ONLY team that can advance without playing at least three games. For that scenario to happen, either Chilliwack or Penticton would have to go 0-3 in their first three games; I think. That’s why you see those last two games, Thursday April 2nd and Saturday, April 4th listed as “if necessary.” One team could be already mathematically eliminated from the BCHL Double Round Robin before next weekend.
That exact scenario played out last year, in the inaugural BCHL Double Round Robin. The Victoria Grizzlies were eliminated three-games into their round-robin, after they dropped t games to Vernon and two to Coquitlam. Vernon was 2-0 and Coquitlam went 2-1 after winning a back-to-back games against Victoria. So, Vernon and Coquitlam were assured of the top two spots in the Double Round Robin and thus advanced to the BCHL Fred Page Cup Final.
For Penticton it’s just focusing on winning their games; take care of your own business. That starts with their home game tomorrow against Nanaimo at 7pm. I think the basic philosophy is winning on home ice. That assures you of at least two wins and that keeps you in the mix for the BCHL Final. Yeah, you’ll like need one road win to give you that edge in the standings, because you don’t want to get involved in dicey tie-breaker scenarios.
Think of the BCHL Double Round-Robin as a quasi NCAA Hockey Regional Tournament. No, it’s not single-game knockout but gives you that college hockey home-and-home feel to it. This is my first go around with it, so we are all in this together. Clear as mud, right?