If the results of the first weekend of playoff play is any indication, the British Columbia Hockey League's uneven playoff format could give an Interior Conference team a substantial edge in the Fred Page Cup Final.
The format sees eight Coastal Conference teams having to fight their way through two best-of-five divisional series to reach a best-of-seven conference final, the winner of which would play the Interior Conference champion.
The Interior Conference format, however, sees just a single best-of-seven series preceding the conference final.
The eventual Coastal Champion could play as few as 10 and as many as 17 games before reaching the Fred Page Cup. The eventual Interior winner could play as few as eight and as many as 14 games before the final.
The results of the first two games-combined with the fact that shorter series are seen as less beneficial to favourites-could make it even more difficult for the eventual Coastal winner.
The top seed of both the Coastal divisions won Game 1 only to see their series evened after suffering Game 2 losses.
Victoria beat Powell River 6-2 Friday only to lose 3-1 the following night. Surrey, meanwhile, won Game 1 by a 2-0 scoreline, but dropped Game 2 1-0.
The lone 2-0 lead on the coast belongs to Nanaimo, which scored a pair of one-goal victories over the third-seeded Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
Action in the Interior, meanwhile, saw both favourites leap out to early 2-0 leads.
The Penticton Vees beat the Salmon Arm Silverbacks by identical 4-2 scorelines. Meanwhile, West Kelowna followed a 6-1 Game 1 stomping of the Merritt Centennials with a 3-2 overtime win Saturday.
Scores from the series third games, which were slated to go Monday night, were not available at press time.