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NWJHL playoffs second round matchups set

The second round of North West Junior Hockey League playoff action is set, with the Dawson Creek Kodiaks and Sundown Oilfield Sexsmith Vipers filling the two remaining spots.

The Vipers punched their card to the next round after knocking out the North Peace Navigators. The Vipers took the first win of the series against the Navigators 4 -1, with the North Peace team rallying in the second game 5 -3 to tie the series up. Game four was a 4 -0 victory for the Sexsmith team and Monday’s game four win, which put them on the winning side of the series, was won 7 -6 in overtime.

The Vipers will face the County of Grande Prairie Wheat Kings in the second round. Game one in the series happens Friday at the Crosslink County Sportsplex.

The Dawson Creek Kodiaks also are moving onto the second round of the NWJHL playoffs. The Kodiaks needed all five games in their series against the La Crete Lumber Barons to come out on the winning side. The Lumber Barons started the series off with an 8 – 2 win in the first game of the postseason, starting a five-game cat-and-mouse series. The Kodiaks took game two 5 -1, with the Lumber Barons winning game three 5 -3 and the Kodiaks finally forcing game five with a 3 -2 win. Game five was the only game where a team in this series won back-to-back, with the Kodiaks punching their ticket to the second round via a 5 -3 win.

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Since the team needed the full five games to move onto the second round, they are the lowest-seeded team moving onto the next series, putting them up against the league’s top team of the regular season, the Fort St. John Huskies. The series may be a bit of déjà vu for the two teams as they faced each other last year in the second round as well. The first game of the Kodiaks vs Huskies series is Friday at the North Peace Arena in Fort St. John.

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