Teams like the Castlegar Rebels have the statistical advantage when it comes to determining who will win the KIJHL's top prize.

An analysis of Cinderella in the KIJHL playoffs

A deeper look into the numbers by Nelson's Bill McDonnell shows that upsets can only go so far.

“Hockey media and fans alike seem to enjoy nothing more than ‘a Cinderella story’ come playoff time.” The Hockey Research Journal, SIHR.

We are attracted to the underdog hoping to say that “I was there when an unexpected event occurred.” So for local Junior B hockey fans, the question heading into the second round of the playoffs is: does this event occur in the KIJHL? What is the true indicator of the best team, regular season or playoffs?

The data covering 44 years (1967-68 to 2010-11) of the league doesn’t support the Cinderella desire of fans in the KIJHL as there is a strong correlation between regular season standings and playoff results leading to the league championship.

With only two exceptions — Castlegar (4th place in 1977-78) and Fernie (5th place in 2007-08) — the KIJHL league playoff champion finished the regular season within the top three teams in the standings. More notable, an impressive 89 per cent of playoff champions finished in first or second place in the regular season standings. First place finishers won the Playoffs 59 per cent of the time, while second place finishers won 30 per cent of  KIJHL playoff series.

Who then are the giants of the KIJHL? Cranbrook garnered 10 league championships on their way to win more provincial Cyclone Taylor Trophies (seven) than any other team in BC. Trail follows with seven league championships, Beaver Valley and Nelson with five each.

So what of 2011-12? Will one of the 89 per cent of league champions, such as Beaver Valley or Castlegar who finished first and second in regular season standings, hold true to form and capture the KIJHL title? History is on their side. Or will it be a Cinderella year with Kelowna (11th in regular season) or Sicamous (13th in regular season) both who upset the number-one seed in the first round of their respective divisions?

All as hockey fans can do is watch to see what unfolds over the next few weeks.

Bill McDonnell is a local hockey historian.

Just Posted

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Foster care is ‘superhighway to homelessness,’ youth advocate tells Nelson audience

Katherine McParland grew up in foster care and lived on the streets

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Pacific Insight to lay off part of workforce

The company says it is transferring automotive production to its Mexico facility

Black belt tests on this week at Kootenay Martial Arts

Grandmaster Brenda Sell returns to assist in testing

VIDEO: Candidates at Nelson election forum

Mayoral candidates joined 18 council candidates for an evening of very short answers

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Most Read