It is a consolation prize for the Prince George Spruce Kings and the BCHL.

The Spruce Kings have been ready to play for months but will not take to the ice for league games until the Easter long weekend, which is still a couple of weeks away.

The Prince George Cougars are not in an ideal situation either but it beats the alternative.

Here is a quick comparison.

The Cougars, based out of Kamloops, get to play four opponents (Kamloops, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Victoria) six times each for a total of 24 games starting on Saturday, March 27th.

(The Cats may even get a mini playoff game or two although that has not been confirmed)

The Spruce Kings, based out of Chilliwack, will only meet two opponents, the Chilliwack Chiefs, and Merritt Centennials, nine or 10 times each for a total of just 18 or 20 games.

There are no plans for any sort of BCHL playoffs.

“I know the players and the coaches are chomping at the bit to get after it,’ said Spruce Kings GM Mike Hawes, in an interview with Brendan Pawliw of mypgnow.com.

“I would say that our players and coaches are more ready to play games than they have ever been as far as concepts and the plays and the systems we are going to run during games. They have worked on those over the last several months at nauseam. This year we have had a four or five-month training camp,” added Hawes.

The Langley Rivermen decided all the hassle, time, effort and money wasn’t worth the reward of so little games and made the decision to opt-out.

Both BCHL and WHL league officials insist they felt an obligation to their players to put something on the ice even though the easy decision could have been what the Rivermen are doing, and that is waiting until this fall for the 2021-22 season.

“Our league is all about getting players scholarships and moving them on to the next level to allow them to pursue their athletic and educational goals,” said BCHL Executive Director Steven Cocker in a news release. “With no games since November, it has been difficult for these players to get noticed by college programs and, as a result, we’ve seen a significant effect on the number of college commitments in the league this year. With a shortened season now in place, we are thrilled to get our players back in the spotlight and give them the attention they deserve.”

While the Spruce Kings may get a little tired of seeing the Chiefs and Centennials over and over again, they will just have to remind themselves that something is better than nothing.

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The Cat is back. Cat Scan returns for a third season, predominately featuring some aspect with the Prince George Cougars. My guest this week is the Cougars VP of Business Andy Beesley. Andy gives insight into the difficulties of the last year and what is being planned for the future.

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The Vancouver Canucks have moved within a couple of points of a playoff spot thanks largely to the play of goalie Thatcher Demko. The 25-year-old Demko has quickly made Canucks fans forget about Jacob Markstrom.

Since March 1st, Demko is 7-1 with a .951 save percentage. In other words, he is playing as well this month as he did in the playoff bubble last year.

While Markstrom has been okay with the Calgary Flames, the Canucks have been further ahead in net with Demko, something many of their fans did not think would be the case when the season began.

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, who just signed a $226 million contract including four years and a signing bonus, is rehabbing his right ankle, but thinking about next year’s Super Bowl “That’s my plan, get a parade in Dallas.” Next year? Did anyone check Dak for concussions?

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

Due to the embarrassing fallout from the controversial Oprah interview with Meghan Markle, Kansas City is considering dropping its ‘Royals’ nickname.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

LeBron James, when asked if he planned to get a COVID-19 vaccination, said he’d “pretty much keep that to a private thing.” In other words, don’t even think about questioning his shot selection.

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


IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT

A brawl reportedly broke out at a New Hampshire retirement centre during a bingo game. It looked like a hockey fight, except with more teeth.

*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