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HomeSportsHart AttackHARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (All on the line) April 8th, 2022 EDITION...

HARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (All on the line) April 8th, 2022 EDITION 883

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Last Friday morning at this time, seven points separated the Spokane Chiefs from the Vancouver Giants and the Victoria Royals with the Prince George Cougars sandwiched in the middle.

On April 1st, the Cougars were holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the WHL Western Conference by four points over the Chiefs.

At the time, Prince George was just three behind Vancouver and Victoria.

Since then the race among the four teams battling for three berths has tightened up considerably.

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Over the last week, the Cougars lost 9-2 to Kelowna, lost 4-3 in overtime to Kamloops, lost 1-0 in overtime to Kelowna, and lost 4-1 to Kelowna (that’s just two out of a possible eight points).

The Chiefs took a huge leap with a 6-5 road win in Kamloops, a 5-2 road win over Vancouver, a 4-1 road victory over Vancouver, and a 3-2 overtime win over Everett (that’s eight out of a possible eight points).

The Giants just have those two losses to the Chiefs while the Royals fell 5-0 to Kelowna in their only game in the past week.

What does this all mean today?

The Cougars, (looking to get their first postseason berth in five years), have a season-high sense of urgency and desperation.

The (22-38-4-1) Cougars, who have dropped 15 of their last 18, are sitting in 9th place in the Conference with the top eight to advance.

They are one point behind the (22-36-5-1) Royals and the (23-35-4-0) Giants.

Prince George is also two points back of the (23-37-4-1) Chiefs.

Vancouver has six games remaining, Victoria has four while Prince George and Spokane have three left.

To suggest the Cougars Saturday home game against the Royals is crucial would be an understatement.

Prince George sat 6th in the Conference for much of the first half of the season.

Should they miss the post-season it would not only be a disappointment but arguably set the franchise back.

Here’s a look at the schedule for those four teams battling for three spots.

PG Cougars: 

Three games left: one at home and two on the road.

The Cougars host Victoria on Saturday before they close out at Kamloops on Friday, April 15th, and at Kelowna on Saturday, April 16th.


Four games left:  two at home and two on the road.

The Royals visit Kamloops tonight (Friday), visit Prince George on Saturday, and host Spokane on both April 15th and 16th.


Three games left: all on the road.

The Chiefs visit Seattle on Saturday and visit Victoria on April 15th and 16th.


Six games left: three at home and three on the road.

The Giants host Portland tonight, visit Kelowna on Saturday and Sunday, host Seattle on Wednesday, host Kelowna on April 15th, and visit Kamloops on April 16th.

The first round of the playoffs will begin on Friday, April 22nd.

The Conference quarter-finals have 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5.

The standings are right here.

The Eastern Conference also has a race that will go down to the wire.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes are 7th with 64 points and four games left.

The Hurricanes have not clinched but are pretty secure in their position.

There is a three-team battle for the eighth and final berth.

The Swift Current Broncos are 8th with 59 points but only have two games left, home against Regina tonight and home against Prince Albert on April 15th.

The Calgary Hitmen are 9th with 58 points but have four games remaining, at Lethbridge Saturday, host Edmonton Sunday, host Red Deer Wednesday and host Lethbridge on the last day, Sunday, April 17th.

The Prince Albert Raiders are 10th but have a chance with 57 points and four games left, at Saskatoon tonight, at Regina Saturday, at Swift Current on April 15th, and host Brandon on April 16th.

While nothing may get settled this weekend, it will set the stage for the Easter long weekend that will conclude the regular season.

These are make-up games with the most on the line.

And ideally, that is how the schedule maker wanted it.


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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 color 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).




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