Photo Courtesy of the Prince George Cougars

Call me old fashioned, but I much prefer hockey games, especially in the playoffs, low scoring with great goaltending instead of the other way around.

My favorite game on the Prince George Cougars six-game home-stand wasn’t the Cougars 7-6 victory over the Kelowna Rockets.

On that night (February 28th), the Cats erased a pair of three goal deficits and eventually won when forward Ilijah Colina scored on the power play with 18 seconds left.

Yes, that may have had a dramatic exciting, but I enjoyed the Cougars 2-1 overtime win over the Victoria Royals (March 2nd) more because of the outstanding stops in the net.

To me, having a total of three goals in a game is usually more enjoyable to watch than one loosely played mistake filled one with 13.

Taylor Gauthier was superb with 32 saves to get the win, while former Cariboo Cougar Griffen Outhouse was sharp with 36 saves.

Both were rightfully so named the game’s top two stars.

The Prince George Spruce Kings first-round battle against the Chilliwack Chiefs has been highlighted by the spectacular play of the goalies; Evan DeBrouwer and Daniel Chenard.

Both have excelled in a competitive series that won’t be decided until the weekend.

Through five hard fought games, each team has just nine goals, or on average less than two per game.

DeBrouwer, the Spruce Kings 2017-18 MVP, has been as good as advertised while demonstrating why voters selected him top goalie in the Mainland Division.

He posted a 26-14-4 record, a 0.920 save-percentage (SV%), a 2.24 goals-against-average (GAA), three shutouts, and the second most minutes played in the regular season.

His performance has been elevated in the post-season, thriving under the pressure with a 0.934 SV% and a 1.70 GAA with a shutout.

Prince George Spruce Kings goaltender Evan DeBrouwer | Garrett James Photography

DeBrouwer, who turned 21 on January 30th, is committed to Arizona State (NCAA Division 1) this fall.

At the other end, Chenard has also been terrific, rising to the challenge of the increased spotlight with a 0.928 SV%, a slim 1.51 GAA and one shutout.

Based on regular season games, it appeared that 17-year-old Mathiew Caron would get the nod over Chenard in the Chilliwack net, after Caron posted an 18-12 record, an 0.895 SV% and a 2.66 GAA.

The 18-year-old Chenard was just 8-17-2, an 0.893 SV% and a 3.07 GAA.

It’s proven each year that a team can’t have playoff success without quality, confident, if not dazzling goaltending.

The Spruce Kings and Chiefs are not high scoring teams (tied for 12th out of 17 in the BCHL regular season), a trend that has continued in the post-season.

When goals are hard to come by, this makes the goalie even more at a premium.

Through five games, DeBrouwer and Chenard are the stars.

Prince George leads 3-2 with two of its victories in overtime.

Ben Brar delighted most of the 1,012 fans at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena (RMCA) on Thursday when he scored at 8:45 of extra time to give the Spruce Kings a 3-2 triumph.

Game Six is Saturday in Chilliwack, with a seventh game in a quick turnaround, if needed, back in PG Sunday night.

If the Chiefs are to come back and win the final two, Chenard will have to be heroic and find yet another gear as it doesn’t appear that DeBrouwer is going to blink.

This has been a good series that may end up a great series, and a large reason is the extraordinary play of the goalies who are playing at peak efficiency.



Chiefs-Spruce Kings first round schedule: (winning goalie listed first)

GAME 1 = Friday, March 2nd – Chilliwack @ Prince George – (CHIEFS WON 3-0)

(Chenard 18 saves for the shutout; DeBrouwer 24 saves on 27 shots)

GAME 2 = Saturday, March 3rd – Chilliwack @ Prince George – (SPRUCE KINGS WON 2-0)

(DeBrouwer 20 saves for the shutout. Chenard 16 saves on 17 shots. There was an empty net goal)

GAME 3 = Monday, March 5th – Prince George @ Chilliwack – (SPRUCE KINGS WON 2-1 IN OT)

(DeBrouwer 32 saves on 33 shots. Chenard 27 saves on 29 shots)

GAME 4 = Tuesday, March 6th – Prince George @ Chilliwack – (CHIEFS WON 3-2)

(Chenard 15 saves on 17 shots. DeBrouwer 29 saves on 32 shots)

GAME 5 = Thursday, March 8th – Chilliwack @ Prince George – (SPRUCE KINGS WON 3-2 IN OT)

(DeBrouwer 22 saves on 24 shots. Chenard 27 saves on 30 shots)

GAME 6 = Saturday, March 10th – Prince George @ Chilliwack – 7PM

**GAME 7 = Sunday, March 11th – Chilliwack @ Prince George – 7PM




Somebody might have mentioned that to me already, but I had a hard time hearing.

*Roger Federer, on becoming the oldest tennis player to be ranked No. 1


After winning an Oscar, Kobe Bryant thanked his former teammates saying, ‘You hated me! You really hated me!’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California


The Cleveland Cavaliers suspended JR Smith reportedly because he threw soup at an assistant coach. Oh,

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California


Russia is gearing up to host the 2018 [FIFA] World Cup. According to Russian regulations, fans will be allowed to bring marijuana and cocaine into stadiums. No, no, no! Imagine how mad fans get when you spill their nachos. Now imagine their nachos are a bag of cocaine.

*Late Late Show host James Corden


A 106-year-old championship cyclist refuses to stop pedaling, setting a record by going 14 miles in one hour. The only problem is that it takes three days to figure out how to get back to where he started.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va.,


A FBI report has the NCAA reeling for secret payoffs to college athletes. Payments as high as $100,000 (Arizona basketball) have been reported. A mass exodus of CFL players going back to school in the US is expected immediately.

*Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver


Pizza Hut introduced a pair of athletic shoes that have a button that orders pizza. When they heard about it, fans of Pizza Hut said, “What are athletic shoes?”

*Conan O’Brien of TBS


The U.S. men’s curling team beat Sweden to win its first Olympic gold medal! Actually, they were beating Sweden so bad, they conceded the match early. Yep, America made Sweden quit in frustration, or as we call that, the “reverse Ikea.”

*Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon



According to a Stats Can study, Vancouver is the poorest major city in Canada with “surprising levels of inequality,” but enough about its NHL team.

*Comedy writer RJ Currie



Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT.
He also is the 94.3 radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on
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