The Chilliwack Chiefs stumbled again last weekend, dropping back-to-back games to division rivals.
The Chiefs followed a 5-1 loss in Langley Friday night with a 5-3 home defeat to the Prince George Spruce Kings.
Only four more games remain in the regular season, three of which are against the Langley Rivermen.
And with just three wins in their last 11 games, the Chiefs are running out of time to fix their game before the start of the playoffs in three weeks.
For 36 minutes, the Chiefs played the Rivermen to a draw Friday. After a scoreless first period, Langley opened the scoring six minutes into the second.
But David Thompson jumped on a loose puck and scored on the power play to level things up just three minutes later.
Langley would take the lead late in the second on a power play point shot that Gillam would probably like to have back. But, as has often been the case the last couple months, it was the third period that really doomed the Chiefs.
Chilliwack should have been desperate entering the third.
Instead they were outshot 15-6 and outscored 3-0.
After Evan Anderson extended Langley's lead 2: 19 into the final period, Derek Sutliffe's wraparound goal 10 minutes later sealed the Rivermen win.
BCHL leading scorer Mario Puskarich found the goal late for Langley to round out the scoring.
Chilliwack put together a better 60 minutes against Prince George the following night at Prospera Centre but it still wasn't good enough, especially in the third.
After Mitch Eden's seeing-eye backhand eluded Gillam, Austin Plevy took a slick drop pass from Trevor Hills and tied the game midway through the first period.
The Chiefs outshot the Spruce Kings 39-15 in the game's first 40 minutes, and pounded 25 shots on Spruce King goalie Kirk Thompson in the second period. Despite that, Chilliwack never held the lead. Twice Prince George pulled ahead in the second, but goals by Luke Esposito and Philip Zielonka tied the game.
And in the third period, Chilliwack had no answer for Bryant Christian's goal with 12 minutes to play. A late empty-netter capped the win for Prince George.
Home ice advantage for playoffs
Despite their struggles and Saturday's loss, the Chiefs still look set to have home ice advantage in the first round of the BCHL playoffs.
Second-place Chilliwack is six points ahead of the Spruce Kings, with each team having four games remaining.
A single Chilliwack win or Prince George loss will wrap up second-place in the Mainland Division for the Chiefs. The two teams will likely meet in the first round of the playoffs: the Spruce Kings have a six-point edge on Langley-who have five games left.
Home ice advantage means the Chiefs will only have to make one trip north, instead of possibly two, during the first-round series.
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