The Chilliwack Chiefs will enter the playoffs on a high after a pair of victories over the Langley Rivermen last weekend.
After losing to the Rivermen the previous weekend, the Chiefs dominated both games against their valley rivals, winning 5-2 Thursday in Langley and 4-1 Saturday back at Prospera Centre.
As they prepare to open the playoffs Friday at home against Prince George-and even though the Langley games were meaningless to the standings-the Chiefs seemed to rediscover the scoring touch and confidence they possessed at the start of the season.
Chilliwack created chances and, crucially, finished them as they never looked in danger of losing either game.
On Thursday, Ryan Donohoe led the way with a hat trick that included a pair of shorthanded goals.
He opened the scoring just five minutes into the game when he started, and finished, a shorthanded two-on-one rush with Philip Zielonka.
The Rivermen made amends on their next power play to tie the game. But the Chiefs took over the second period, outshooting Langley 18-6 and scoring three times.
Donohoe went first, banging home a rebound on an early power play to restore the Chiefs lead.
Late in the period, Zielonka scored his 36th goal of the year when he pounced on another rebound. And with 22 second left in the second, Hansen stole the puck from Langley defenceman Turner Popoff and fed Spencer Graboski to give the Chiefs a three-goal lead heading into the final period.
The Rivermen pulled to within two goals in the third, but a blocked shot by Hansen on another Langley power play helped spring Donohoe on a partial breakaway and his third goal of the game.
The Chiefs were just as good on Saturday. With little on the line, Langley rested BCHL scoring champion Mario Puskarich while Chilliwack head coach Harvey Smyl sat all-star Luke Esposito.
The Chiefs got on the board barely two minutes into the game with a goal from the most unlikely of scorers.
Eric Roberts, the youngest player on the Chiefs, had played 56 regular season BCHL games but registered just three assists. In his 57th, he finally got to celebrate his first tally when his one-timed point shot beat Langley netminder Darren Hogg.
Alexandre Perron-Fontaine scored on a power play off a rebound to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead heading into the second.
There, the Chiefs continued their dominance.
Mathieu Tibbet finished a nice three-way passing play between him, Brodyn Nielsen and Graboski just 2: 52 into the period. And five minutes later, Hansen made the score 4-0 when he and Donohoe teamed up for yet another shorthanded goal.
Langley finally got on the board with a Popoff point shot, but just nine seconds later Nielsen stole the puck and beat Hogg for his second goal of the year.
Then, after 29 minutes and six goals, it suddenly became much tougher for either team to score.
The rest of the second proceeded without a goal and the Rivermen and Chiefs combined for 33 shots, 16 penalty minutes and exactly zero goals in the third as the two teams bid farewell to each other after playing five times over the previous three weekends.
Langley will move on to play the Surrey Eagles in the first round of the BCHL playoffs while the Chiefs will welcome the Prince George Spruce Kings to town, with Game 1 slated to go Friday.
? For a full preview of that series, check out Thursday's Times.