Whatever way the Pacific Junior Hockey League championship series shakes down, one thingâ€™s for certain: there will be no repeat of last year.
In the 2013 junior B playoff finale, the Richmond Sockeyes swept the Aldergrove Kodiaks in four games.
The two PJHL powerhouses are facing off again for the post-season title this season, and the Kodiaks have ensured they wonâ€™t be swept this time around.
In fact, if the Kodiaks win tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 26) at Aldergrove Arena, the series will be up for grabs.
A 3-2 win Sunday at Richmond Arena brought the Kodiaks back into the fray.
Going into the game, the Sockeyes held a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven series after beating the Kodiaks 7-1 in the opener March 19 at Aldergrove Arena and 6-4 on March 20 in Richmond.
The Kodiaks showed some moxie in game three by taking a 2-0 first period lead on goals from Spencer Unger 6:46 after the opening puck drop, and Spencer McHaffie with 7:02 remaining in the frame.
The Sockeyes narrowed their deficit to a goal after Richmondâ€™s Daniel Oakley scored at the 1:36 mark of the second period.
But the Kodiaks restored their two-goal lead when Spencer McHaffie tallied his second of the night, assisted by his brother Scott, with 4:34 to go in the middle frame.
The third period saw the Sockeyesâ€™ Jacob Wozney cash in on a power play at the 4:55 mark, but the Richmond hosts were unable to net the equalizer.
Kodiaks goaltender Jordan Liem had a strong game, stopping 33 of 35 shots directed his way.
At the other end, Sockeyes puckstopper Kootenay Alder also played solidly, stopping 35 Kodiaks shots.
Wednesdayâ€™s game at Aldergrove Arena gets underway at 7:15 p.m.
The teams meet in game five Thursday at Richmond Arena, with a 7 p.m. start time.
If the series stretches beyond five games, a sixth contest will be played this Saturday (March 29) at Aldergrove Arena. Game time is yet to be determined.
If the series goes the distance, a seventh and deciding game is scheduled for Monday, March 31 at Richmond Arena with a 7 p.m. start time.
ICE CHIPS: The series matches the top two teams from the PJHLâ€™s regular season, with the Tom Shaw Conference champion Sockeyes topping the league with a 34-5-3-2 record. To get to the championship series, the Sockeyes posted back-to-back four-game sweeps, over the Delta Ice Hawks and North Vancouver Wolf Pack in their first two best-of-seven series thus far in the post-season.
The Kodiaks finished second overall in the PJHL while leading the Harold Brittain Conference with a 34-6-2-2 mark. In the playoffs, Aldergrove swept the Mission City Outlaws in four games and downed the Abbotsford Pilots in five games in their respective best-of-seven series.