As the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League regular season heads into the stretch, many teams are jockeying for playoff positions.
But two teams – the Campbell River Storm and the Kerry Park Islanders – already know their post season fate. They'll meet in the league's inaugural wild card game on Feb. 17.
The game goes at 1:30 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena and will be followed by presentation of league awards.
"This year at the AGM the league voted to have a one-game showdown where the lowest seed from each division would have an opportunity in a wild card game to get into the playoffs," explained VIJHL president Greg Batters.
The winner will compete as the fourth seed in the North Division.
"Allowing the top eight teams to compete in the playoffs is a way for our teams' coaches to utilize there full roster throughout the season," Batters said. "The pressure on our clubs' coaches is less significant in the regular season; therefore they are encouraged to play everyone…we feel this is good for development"
Batters noted the VIJHL's goal and purpose is the development of players, coaches and officials. "Primarily the bulk of our young men who are fortunate to move up go on to the BCHL, some even end up in the WHL and we are also starting to see players offered scholastic opportunities in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League," Batters added.
Immediately following the game will be an on-ice, red carpet presentation of the annual league awards.
The following awards will be handed out:
Andy Hebenton Trophy - Regular Season Champion.
Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy - League Playoff Champion.
Grant Peart Memorial Trophy - Most Disciplined Team.
Eddie "The Storm" Kingston Award - Coach Of The Year.
Chek 6 King and Haysom Award - Broadcaster Of The Year.
Doug Morton Trophy - Scoring Leader.
Brian Harrison Award - Top Forward.
Jack Kingston Memorial Trophy - Top Defenceman.
Ray's Sports Centre Trophy - Top Goaltender.
Jamie Robertson Memorial Trophy - Most Sportsmanlike Player.
Walt MacWilliams Memorial Trophy - Unsung Hero.
Larry Lamoureaux Trophy - Rookie of the Year.
Jamie Benn Trophy - Most Valuable Player.
– Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League