The return of a full house of roughly 6,000 people at CN Centre for a WHL game or another major entertainment event appears to still be many months away.

It is reasonable to suggest, with most of the B.C. population vaccinated by some point this summer, (currently there are 2,000,000 adults that have been inoculated) the PG Cougars will be allowed to have some fans at their home games for the 2021-22 season, which is expected to start in October.

The question though is how many will be allowed into the building?

Listening to BC’s top physician this week it appears a return to “normal” will not be happening at all this year.

During a media briefing, Doctor Bonnie Henry answered a question from Richard Zussman of Global this way:

“I can say there is not likely to be big events of any sort, even outdoors, through this summer and into the fall and winter of next year.”

Yes, she did say winter of next year, which one would suggest means January and February of 2022.

“We’re in a whole different world now,” Doctor Henry added.

“I can see many situations where we can have smaller, distanced outdoor events this summer, perhaps hundreds of people.”

COVID-19 cases are finally starting to go down in B.C., optimism is increasing but the rules will not be disappearing altogether for an indefinite period.

Common sense suggests restrictions will be eased gradually in the province rather than just all being lifted at once.

Come this fall, just having some fans back in the building will be a victory.

It may not bring huge financial rewards, but a win is a win, won that owners are desperately seeking.

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The Prince George Cougars are playing their best hockey of the mini-season.

The WHL Goalie of the Week, Taylor Gauthier has never looked better in the net, allowing just five goals in his last five games.

Gauthier has been a major contributor to the Cougars six-game point streak, including three straight wins.

The (9-7-2-1) are not going to win the 5-team B.C. Division in the developmental season, but they are right in the middle of the pack, just the kind of progression the team was looking for.

They have just three games remaining: Saturday vs Victoria, Sunday against Kelowna, and Wednesday vs. Kamloops.

Being the second-youngest team in the WHL, the Cougars “bubble” experience should be as beneficial for them as any team in the league.

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The (12-5-0-1) Prince George Spruce Kings last game of the season Sunday against the (12-6) Chilliwack Chiefs will likely be for the top spot in the Chilliwack Pod. It is not a playoff game but the closest thing to it in a whacky shortened season. The Spruce Kings are a point ahead of the Chiefs. Each team will play the (3-15) Merritt Centennials before their finale. After being in a Chilliwack bubble for several weeks, the finality of it all will start to sink in with the bus ride home. Memories will obviously be a lot sweeter with a first-place finish even if it is just among three teams.

 

Cat Scan podcast:

John Pateman is the Prince George Cougars team president and minority owner.  In this week’s Cat Scan podcast, Pateman says the ownership group remains committed long-term to PG. Pateman also discusses the financial hit of the team from COVID-19 plus expectations for the future and ticket prices.


Taking Note:

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

The 2021 NFL Draft is finally over. The 2022 NFL Pre-Draft hype starts this weekend.

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

Well, it was another typical Raiders NFL draft. There hasn’t been that much-reaching since the last string of Dillinger bank robberies.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

The Milwaukee Bucks offered COVID-19 vaccinations to any fans attending a recent game against Brooklyn — but only the first dose of Pfizer. You’d think a championship-caliber NBA team might have a better shot selection.

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


IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT

How about the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals breaking an NHL record with six brawls in the first five minutes? Somewhere Rodney Dangerfield was heard saying “See?”

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm.
He also is the radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca