Little did the Prince George Cougars know there season would end on a Cole Moberg overtime goal in a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants on March 7th.

At the time, the Cougars celebrated by pouring off the bench to congratulate Moberg as the team put the finishing touches on a 3-game home win streak.

The Cats still had six road games left on their schedule but like practically everything else those games were cancelled because of the coronavirus.

It is still hard for many of us to believe what has transpired over the last 10 days.

Realizing we will not see hockey again for an indefinite period here is a brief recap of where things ended for the two Prince George junior hockey teams and the P.G. based Cariboo Cougars midget teams.

 

PG Cougars:

There has been no announcement yet, but Taylor Gauthier should be the hands-down winner of the team’s MVP award.

The Cougars did not make the playoffs for a third straight year and were just 9th in the 10-team Western Conference and 19th out of 22 WHL teams overall, but they were competitive most nights thanks in large part to Gauthier.

His .917 save percentage tied him for 7th best in the league among goalies that played more than 10 games.

Despite a 20-34-4-4 record, the team did improve from a year ago but not enough to even be considered a lower-middle of the pack team.

 

PG Spruce Kings:

The 18-32-3-5 Spruce Kings were one of nine BCHL teams that actually had finished their season before the unexpected stoppage due to COVID-19.

They were swept by Trail in four-straight playoff games and outscored 11-3.

With a last-place finish in the Mainland Division and placing 15th overall out of 17 teams, they benefitted by having all but one of the league teams advance to the post-season.

The Spruce Kings were BC’s best in 2019 and with just five returning players from its championship team, the massive drop from one year to the next was understandable.

After their season, the team received the unexpected news of the passing of a likeable former captain.


Cariboo Cougars:

The Cariboo Cougars were the defending BCMML champions who were one of five teams that had a realistic chance of winning the provincial major midget title this season.

The Cougars finished on a 10-game unbeaten yet only finished 5th in the 11-team league with a 27-10-2-1 record.

Only three points separated 2nd from 5th in the standings.

The Cougars were playing their best hockey of the season heading into playoffs which gave them much optimism even though they were not scheduled to have any home playoff games.

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The Cariboo minor midget (u-16) Cougars reached the final four in their league.

After a first-place finish in the regular season with a 26-5-1 record, the minor midget Cougars easily swept their first-round series two games to none over North Island.

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Wins and losses, no matter for what team, do not seem to have much significance at this time.

We are all in agreement though that the faster hockey can return the better off we will be.

When sports are back in session, hopefully, that means our lives are at least for the most part back to normal.

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This is season two of Hartley’s Cat-Scan, a weekly podcast show that primarily features the Prince George Cougars.

My guest on the 27th Cat-Scan in year two is former Cougars forward Brad Mehalko.

Brad discusses coming to the Cougars via trade from the Lethbridge Hurricanes, his recent visit with former teammate Zdeno Chara in Calgary and being forced into retirement because of shoulder
injuries.

He also talks about his playoff runs with the Cougars and Hitmen before heading off to the professional ranks.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:   

March Madness is cancelled. No, let me rephrase that: The NCAA basketball tournaments are cancelled. We’re LIVING in March Madness.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

 

Joe Panik has been added to the Major League roster of the Toronto Blue Jays, which completely goes against everyone’s advice during the coronavirus scare to not Panik.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

 

The Boston Red Sox front office has vowed to not make the same mistakes that they made during another major pandemic, the Spanish Influenza Outbreak back in 1918—you know, the year they sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

 

The minor-league Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs have scrapped plans for their May 26 “OJ Trial Night” — in “honour” of Simpson as well as orange juice — after considerable public backlash, which certainly doesn’t bode well for Glove Night, either.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Orange News reports a man set a world record by balancing 23 wooden benches on his teeth. I’ll go out on a limb and say he doesn’t play hockey.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

 

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 the Goat radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca