There wasn’t much to choose between the West Kelowna Warriors and Merritt Centennials during the B.C. Hockey League’s regular season.
Now the Interior Division rivals are preparing to go head-to-head to open the 2017 postseason.
The best-of-seven series kicks off Friday at Royal LePage Place. Face off is 7 p.m.
Game 2 goes Saturday at West Kelowna, with Games 3 and 4 set for next Monday and Tuesday at Nicola Valley Arena in Merritt. (Full series schedule below).
The Centennials won four of seven meetings between the clubs during the regular season, including the last two in February.
In the end, the Warriors (27-29-2-0) and Cents (23-25-8-2) finished tied in the Interior with 58 points, but the Warriors were awarded fourth place and home ice advantage based on more victories during the season.
The other first-round Interior series features the Trail Smoke Eaters and Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The first-place Penticton Vees and second-place Vernon Vipers each have a first round bye.
Here’s a look at the Warriors-Merritt playoff schedule:
Friday, March 3 @ West Kelowna 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 4 @ West Kelowna 7 p.m.
Monday, March 6 @ Merritt 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7 @ Merritt 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 9 @ West Kelowna 7 p.m. *
Friday, March 10 @ Merritt 7 p.m. *
Saturday, March 11 @ West Kelowna 7 p.m. *
* If necessary