Nanaimo, Campbell River battle for top seed as VIHL hockey playoffs loom

The Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League confirmed its 2018 playoff format in an announcement on Feb. 7.

The new format eliminates the wildcard game and the divisional playoffs, putting the top eight teams in the entire league into one bracket.

The first-place team in the league will face the eight-place team in the first round, followed by 2 vs. 7, 3 vs 6 and 4 vs. 5.

All playoff series will be best-of-seven as the teams battle for the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy and a berth in the Cyclone Taylor Cup B.C. junior B championship tournament.

Going into the last weekend of the regular season, the Campbell River Storm and Nanaimo Buccaneers are still battling for first and second place, the Saanich Braves have locked up the third seed, and the remaining teams — the Kerry Park Islanders, Victoria Cougars, Westshore Warriors, Oceanside Generals and Peninsula Panthers — were jockeying for fourth through eighth. The Comox Valley Glacier Kings were eliminated from the postseason weeks ago.