Chilliwack Chiefs pulling away from Vernon Vipers

Chilliwack Chiefs clip Westside Warriors 3-1 Friday night to tighten grip on final BCHL Interior Conference playoff spot.

With the Vernon Vipers hot in pursuit, the Chilliwack Chiefs earned a little extra breathing room Friday night as they try to secure the B.C. Hockey League’s final Interior Conference playoff spot.

The fourth-place Chiefs used singles by Malcolm Gould, Spencer Graboski and David Thompson to brush back the host Westside Warriors 3-1 at Royal LePage Place, extending their lead over the fifth-place Vipers to seven points.

Vernon and Chilliwack each have five games remaining, and to have a realistic chance at the postseason, the Vipers will have to win them all, and pray Chilliwack loses at least three. The Chiefs (30-21-1-3) visit the juggernaut Penticton Vees (51-3-0-2) Saturday night at South Okanagan Events Centre, and then entertain the Vipers (51-3-0-2) in what could be a season-deciding encounter Tuesday at Prospera Centre.

Vernon faces the Warriors (20-28-2-7) Saturday in West Kelowna before entertaining the Prince George Spruce Kings (31-19-2-4) in a Sunday matinee (2 p.m.) at Wesbild Centre. The Snakes end their regular season next weekend with a home-and-home series against the Salmon Arm SilverBacks (16-33-0-8).

In other Interior action Friday night, the Vees recorded their 39th straight win with a 4-3 decision over Salmon Arm, and the Sprucies hammered the Trail Smoke Eaters 6-1.