While three of the four second round series in the BCHL playoffs will extend to at least six games, the Prince George Spruce Kings are anxiously sitting by waiting to beat their next opponent.

The Spruce Kings are playing arguably their best hockey ever since joining the BCHL in 1996.

How dominant have they been?

The numbers are staggering!

The Spruce Kings have not lost on home ice in 2019, a streak of 13 games that dates back to mid-December.

They have won 20 of their last 22 games overall and remain highly motivated.

This Prince George team has been playing with an edge, still looking for the ultimate league-wide respect.

After finishing second in the BCHL regular season standings (just a point behind the Chilliwack Chiefs), the Spruce Kings had none of their players selected to the BCHL first all-star team (they had two on the second team).

In addition, P.G. was shutout when it came to the vote of the six league individual award winners.

The Spruce Kings were ready for the playoffs and to date have looked unstoppable.

They polished aside the Coquitlam Express in five games in the opening round; then destroyed the defending RBC national champion Chiefs in the Mainland Division Final.

Prince George not only crushed Chilliwack in four straight, they outscored the Chiefs 21-3.

The Spruce Kings have allowed just 13 goals in nine post-season games, a credit to not only goalie Logan Neaton, but to the entire team that has focused on being strong defensively.

The Chiefs only had 19 shots in a 7-0 home loss in game one to P.G. and it did not get much better the rest of the way.

Chilliwack fired 20 in a 3-2 loss in game two, just 13 in an 8-0 loss in game three and 16 in the
3-1 series ending game in Prince George.

Over the four games, the Chiefs had a paltry 68 shots on net, an average of a mere 17 a game.

The Spruce Kings never trailed at any point in the series, a clear message this is a hungry hockey team on a mission.

Last season, P.G. surprised the league by reaching the Fred Page Cup Final before succumbing in five games to the Wenatchee Wild.

This season, the Spruce Kings are poised to take the next step and win their first league playoff title but they are only half-way to the 16 victories needed.

In one week, they will host either the Victoria Grizzlies or the Powell River Kings to start the Coastal Conference championship series.

The Grizzlies and Powell River are tied 2-2 in their best-of-seven Island Division final.

In 2018, P.G. beat Powell River in five to take the Coastal title.

The Spruce Kings will be the freshest team remaining once the league gets down to its final four.

Their fan base is building with a five-game playoff attendance average of 1,454, a
significant increase from the regular season average of 983.

The organization has waited a long time for the success that has come last season and this.

As good as it looks on paper, the Spruce Kings must not get a head of themselves and have a
let-down in the next round against a lesser-rival.

The goal remains a championship and if they keep that chip on the shoulder, the well-balanced Spruce Kings should be okay the rest of the way.

#

This is Week 25 of ‘Hartley’s Cat Scan.’

The podcast, introduced in September, predominately features the Prince George Cougars.

My guest is Cougars minority owner Eric Brewer.

Eric talks about the team missing the playoffs, attendance that took a dip, long-term ownership
commitment to Prince George and a variety of other key topics.

You can also find this podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Sacramento Kings blew a 25-point lead after three quarters in losing to Brooklyn Nets Tuesday. Did they get a commiserating phone call from the Atlanta Falcons?

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

A report says Ohio State University football assistant coaches will be paid $7.4 Million this year. That is getting close to them making as much as some of the players.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann says he was ‘blindsided’ by the recent admissions scandal—-George Atkinson immediately denied bribing officials to get his kid into college.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

The World Bridge Federation has announced that it is suspending Geir Helgemo, the world’s top player for PEDs. Other players became suspicious when the cards he was dealing came out at over 150mph each.

*Comedy writer Tony Chong

Pot-loving Dallas Cowboys DT David Irving — suspended yet again by the NFL for violating  its substance-abuse policy — says he’s quitting football. Or is he just blowing more smoke

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


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

A Harvard runner “felt skin being torn” off his foot and digits when he ran and won a 3,000-metre race in one shoe. Instead of an ambulance, team doctors called for a toe truck.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT.
He also is the 94.3 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.
Follow him on Twitter: @Hartley_Miller
Listen to him on his weekly podcast: Hartley’s Cat Scan.