For the first time in the 10-year history of the Osoyoos Coyotes, there will be no post-season hockey at the Sun Bowl Arena.
Zane Avery scored twice and assisted on Kayson Gallant’s go-ahead goal with 10:36 to play as the Kelowna Chiefs handed the Coyotes their eighth straight defeat, a 3-2 decision Wednesday at the Sun Bowl.
The loss mathematically eliminated the Coyotes (8-33-1-2) from playoff contention with five regular season games left to go.
Brandon Della Paolera and Tyler Russell scored and Bryson Garska assisted on both for the Coyotes, who are 11 points behind the fourth-place North Okanagan Knights in the Ohlhausen Division.
The Chiefs, coached by former long-time Coyotes coach Ken Law, outshot Osoyoos 50-39.
Kelowna (30-11-2-2) clinched the Ohlhausen pennant with the win, moving eight points ahead of the Princeton Posse with each team having four games to go. At best, Princeton could tie the Chiefs in points, but Kelowna would have the first tiebreaker by virtue of more overall wins (30-29).
It means Kelowna will play North Okanagan, while Princeton will take on the Summerland Steam in the first round of the KIJHL playoffs.
Summerland (21-20-0-4) meets Kelowna tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Summerland Arena.
The Coyotes take on North Okanagan tonight in Armstrong and are back home to face Princeton Saturday at 7:35 p.m.
Osoyoos plays local rivals Summerland in its final home game Wednesday at the Sun Bowl.
The only other KIJHL playoff race undecided is in the Murdoch Division, where the Grand Forks Border Bruins lead the Castlegar Rebels by one point for fourth place, with the two teams clashing tonight in Grand Forks. Each team has four games left.
The Murdoch pennant is also the only one up for grabs, with Beaver Valley Nite Hawks leading the Nelson Leafs by three points with each team having four games to go.
The Revelstoke Grizzlies (Birks Division) and Kimberley Dynamiters (Mountain Division) clinched their pennants.
Revelstoke leads Kimberley by one point for first place overall, but the Dynamiters have one game in hand.