SPRUCE KINGS ARE BCHL CHAMPS FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER
VERNON, B.C. – The Prince George Spruce Kings finished the most dominant run through the BCHL playoffs the league has ever seen with a 3-1 victory Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Fred Page Cup BCHL Finals.
Captain Ben Poisson got the game-winner on the power play in the second period, his postseason-leading 13th goal, and Logan Neaton made 18 saves as the Spruce Kings completed their third-straight series sweep.
Prince George finishes the Chevrolet BCHL Playoffs with a 16-1 record, the lone blemish being a Game 4 loss on March 5 to the Coquitlam Express in Round 1. Going back to the start of February, the Spruce Kings have racked up a record of 26-2.
Finalists a year ago, Prince George was defeated in five games by the Wenatchee Wild. They returned much of that roster this year and added goalie Neaton, a second team all-star this season and owner of a .940 save percentage and 1.46 goals-against average in the playoffs.
The Spruce Kings swept Mainland Division winners the Chilliwack Chiefs in Round 2 and Island Division winners the Victoria Grizzlies in Round 3. They needed the minimum against Vernon as well and finish the BCHL playoffs on a 13-game winning streak.
Up next is the Doyle Cup which pits the BCHL champions against the AJHL-winning Brooks Bandits, who also swept their league finals and went an astonishing 57-3 in the regular season. Under normal circumstances, it would just be the winner of the best-of-seven Doyle Cup that would advance to the national championship but since Brooks is the host of this year’s tournament, both the Spruce Kings and the Bandits will qualify.
The Doyle Cup is scheduled to begin Friday, April 26 in Brooks, Alta.
The National Junior A Championship, formerly known as the RBC Cup, is scheduled to begin Saturday, May 11 in Brooks.
Prince George joined the BCHL in 1996 but never made it to the Finals until last season. They played in the 2007 RBC Cup as the host team.