There’s no place like home for the playoffs, and the Comox Valley Glacier Kings have secured home ice advantage for their first-round Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff series with the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
Game #1 in the best-of-seven series goes Tuesday, Feb. 17 in Courtenay with puck drop 7 p.m. at Comox Valley Sports Centre Arena #1. Game #2 is Thursday, Feb. 19 at
7:15 p.m. in Nanaimo, Game #3 Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Courtenay and Game #4 Monday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in Nanaimo.
If necessary, Game #5 goes Tuesday, Feb. 24 in Courtenay at 7 p.m., Game #6 Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7:15 p.m. in Nanaimo and Game #7 Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Courtenay.
A look at the final North Division standings indicates the series could well go the distance. The teams finished tied for second place on points with 52, with the Icemen (23-19-1-5) getting the nod for second place by virtue of having one more win than the Bucs (22-18-3-5).
Five of the eight regular season meetings between the teams went to overtime, with the G-Kings winning five of the eight meetings. Seven of the games were decided by one goal.
The Glacier Kings may have set the tone for their post-season series opener on Feb. 12 when they blanked the Bucs 4-0 in Nanaimo. Liam Young made 30 saves to post the shutout and Liam Shaw tallied twice to go along with one goal each from Kyle Wade and Grant Iles.
The Yetis also got a taste of what probably lies ahead for them in the playoffs should they get past Nanaimo as the North Division champion Campbell River Storm blew them away 11-1 in their final RS game on Feb. 14 in Courtenay.
The Storm outshot the Icemen 54-14 and ripped eight unanswered third-period goals to turn what had been a reasonable close game into a blow out.
Landon Walters had the lone Comox Valley goal while Zachary Straza played 45 minutes in goal before giving way to affiliate player Matt Henwood.
The game was slowed down by several fights and game misconducts.
Campbell River will meet the winner of Monday night’s play-in game between the Oceanside Generals and Peninsula Panthers in their first-round series.
South Division and league champion Victoria Cougars will take on the Kerry Park Islanders while the Westshore Wolves are up against the Saanich Braves.