West Kelowna Warriors and Vernon Vipers will square off in round one of the BCHL playoffs

Warriors, Vipers in round 1

For the second year in a row, it'll be the West Kelowna Warriors and Vernon Vipers in the opening round of the BC Hockey League playoffs.

The Warriors learned their fate when the Penticton Vees upended Salmon Arm 4-2 on the final afternoon of the BCHL regular season.

The result relegated the Silverbacks to fourth in the Interior Conference, a point behind the third place Warriors.

That means the Warriors will have home ice advantage against the sixth place Vipers in the opening round, which begins Friday at Royal LePage Place.

The Okanagan rivals have met just four times previously in the post season with Vernon taking the first three before the Warriors snapped the string, eliminating the Vipers in five a year ago.

The teams played five times during this regular season.

And, while the Warriors came out on top in four of those, all except one were extremely close.

The Warriors won all three meeting on home ice by identical 4-3 scores, two decided by a shootout which will not be utilized in the post season.

The teams split the two games in Vernon, the Warriors winning 5-1 with the Vipers prevailing, of course, by a 4-3 score.

The Warriors will head into the playoffs as healthy as they have been in recent weeks.

Defenceman Dylan Brooks returned a week ago while captain Aiden Reeves should be back in time for the start of the series. Other players who have been out of the lineup with long-term injuries are not expected back.

The first two games of the series will be played at Royal LePage Place Friday and Saturday before the series shifts to Kal Tire Place in Vernon for games three and four Tuesday, April 4 and Wednesday, April 5.

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