Losing two games off a schedule does not sound like a big deal but when a team is only slated to play 24 it is a reduction of more than 8%.

All things though are not necessarily created equally.

In the WHL B.C. Division, the league has confirmed that Prince George, Kamloops, Vancouver, and Victoria will play 22 games each while Kelowna gets 16.

The reason the Rockets play six fewer is that they were completely shut down for a couple of weeks after several players and other members of the team tested positive for COVID-19.

In the Central Division, Lethbridge is the one team that gets the full 24 games while Edmonton, Medicine Hat, and Red Deer have 23 apiece. The Calgary Hitmen, who have experienced positive tests, will settle for 21.

There was some hope that players on the PG Cougars and other teams would have some sort of post-season but the league has announced that there will be no playoffs.

It seems all WHL players have been grateful just for that chance to compete even if it is just a little taste.

The situation out west is still better than the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), which really had no choice but to issue a statement that the season has been scrapped without playing a game.

The Cougars played their 12th game last night, a 4-1 loss to the Kamloops Blazers which means they just went past the midway mark.

Thru a dozen games, Prince George does not have a player averaging a point per game but they have a half-dozen with a total of seven or more.

The Cougars have struggled on the power play, ranking 16th out of 22, but the penalty kill is better sitting 10th.

In their Hub, the Cougars have given up eight more goals than they have scored (42-34).

One glaring area of concern, which was easily predictable for a team not even averaging 18 years of age, is a lack of consistently strong performances.

It is what all teams strive for but few achieve.

Take last weekend for example. A well-played 5-2 victory over Victoria one night was followed by a defensively sloppy effort the next in a 7-5 loss to Kelowna. (It was the Rockets first game following a nearly 3-week COVID layoff).

The (9-2) Blazers and (9-3) Giants are clearly the top two teams in the B.C. Division but you would not know it by their results against Prince George.

Kamloops is 4-0 against the Cats, outscoring the Cougars 20-6, yet Vancouver is just 2-2 against Prince George with the Cougars outscoring the Giants over the four games 11-7.

There are just 10 games left in the developmental season for the Cougars, 3 each against Kelowna and Victoria and 2 apiece against Kamloops and Vancouver.

The Cougars wrap up on Wednesday, May 12th.

Let’s just say their season, like the 21 other WHL teams, will conclude, (in more ways than one), with no fanfare.

This is no one’s fault but is the reality when the virus dictates who plays and when.

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Connor Bowie and Craig Armstrong are not only teammates on the P.G. Cougars but have at least one other thing in common this season. Both have scored hat tricks. Bowie’s came in the second game of the season on March 29th, a 5-3 win over Victoria, and Armstrong two weeks later on Monday, April 12th, a 4-1 victory over Vancouver. Hear from both players in this week’s Cat Scan podcast.

Taking Note:

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

At the A’s ballpark, I interviewed one of those cardboard fans, the only one that was not smiling. Said the fan, “I wasn’t cut out for this.”

*Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle after attending a recent Oakland A’s home game.

After starting the season 0-6, the Oakland A’s have battled back to stand at 12-7. Not only are they back in contention in the AL West, but they have qualified for this year’s National Bungee Jumping Competition.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

A Dodger fan sitting in the left-center bleachers caught Justin Turner’s home-run ball Wednesday night (April 14th) — and wound up with nacho cheese all over his hoodie. So, to sum it up: one run, one hit, one error, and a whole bunch left on.

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

With his 1768th game, Patrick Marleau surpassed Gordie Howe as the all-time NHL leader in games played. Marleau, who debuted for the San Jose Sharks in 1997, only has another nine years to go before he ties Howe for the record of playing five DECADES. (1946 to 1980.)

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


IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT

According to a recent British study, people surrounded by happy, smiling faces tend to lose their feelings of aggression and anger. In a related story, Toronto Maple Leafs fans fight a lot.

*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