Let me remind you of the final Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Top 20 rankings for the 2018-19 season that came out on March 4, 2019.

The Brooks Bandits were #1 and the Prince George Spruce Kings were #16.

What?

See for yourself, as the link is right here.

Based on a 57-3 regular season record in the AJHL, Brooks deserved to be at the top, but Prince George is proving to be just as good, and maybe even better.

The Spruce Kings dream playoff run now sees them just one win shy of the capturing the Doyle Cup, emblematic of the best team in the Pacific Region.

The Bandits have been frustrated the last two games with a mere total of two goals on Prince George ice.

Brooks is known for firepower, racking up 334 goals in 60 games, an average of 5.56 per contest.

There is something special about the Spruce Kings when they play on the smaller ice surface in front of their own fans.

They delighted the hometown crowd with a 3-1 victory Wednesday and a 4-1 triumph Thursday to take a 3-2 series lead.

Patrick Cozzi, who just turned 21, scored the winner in game four and added two more goals in game five.

Cozzi told MYPGNOW.COM he can sense the Bandits are frustrated playing before a sold-out building of more than 1,900 fans the two previous nights.

“I don’t think they are used to such a rowdy crowd or our atmosphere, so we just have to keep playing the way we are playing and our fans are doing an unreal job in getting under their skin.”

The real prize for both the provincial champion Spruce Kings and Bandits will be going for gold at the nationals this month (May 11-19) in Brooks but both teams are laying it on the line in this series.

“We don’t like each other for sure, we have had a lot of chirping and it’s a playoff atmosphere out there but it is a lot of fun, we don’t like each other and we don’t like them but I think we both respect each other. We just have to keep beating them and get under their skin,” added Cozzi.

The Spruce Kings are now riding an incredible 19-game home winning streak.

They have not lost in their own building in 2019 (last setback at the RMCA on December 15th).

When the Spruce Kings won their three previous series, the final victory came on the road.

They are now in position to capture a prestigious title in front of their long-starving fans that have waited 23 years for this kind of a run since joining the BCHL in 1996.

The Bandits are too good a team to dismiss them from coming back to win Saturday and Sunday.

The Spruce Kings though have a mental edge that gives them extreme confidence.

They also have the goalie, defence and depth up front to make them the envy of the vast majority of the other 131 CJHL teams in the country.


FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

A cannabis investor gave $9 Million to Harvard and MIT to study health effects of pot. Which is a big gamble as the money could have instead been used to bribe 18 students into those schools.

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

Kicker Sebastian Janikowski says he’s retiring from the NFL at the age of 41. “So young?” responded Adam Vinatieri.

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

If San Francisco 49ers first-round draft pick Nick Bosa’s politics are any indication, then he should play edge rusher from the right side. Way to the right side.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay forked over $718,750 to buy John Lennon’s famed piano. Hey, Jim, when the player-personnel people said they wanted Peppers, they meant Julius, not Sgt.

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


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Trivago pitchman Tim Williams was arrested in Houston for DUI. Police found him a room for the night, with no offers from other booking sites.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
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 podcast: Hartley’s Cat Scan.