The British Columbia Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup Finals get underway this week with two teams that have had great success on home-ice in the first three rounds.
The Wenatchee Wild and Prince George Spruce Kings will square off to determine the BCHL champion. The Wild have home-ice advantage by virtue of a higher regular-season points total.
Here is the series schedule:
Game 1 – Friday, April 13 @ Wenatchee
Game 2- Saturday, April 14 @ Wenatchee
Game 3- Monday, April 16 @ Prince George
Game 4- Tuesday, April 17 @ Prince George
*Game 5- Thursday, April 19 @ Wenatchee
*Game 6- Saturday, April 21 @ Prince George
*Game 7- Monday, April 23 @ Wenatchee
The winner of the Fred Page Cup will move on to represent the BCHL in the Doyle Cup against the winner of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The winner of that best-of-seven series will move on to the RBC Cup national championship tournament in Chilliwack.
Prince George Spruce Kings vs Wenatchee Wild
STATUS: Series Tied (0-0)
MY PICK: Wenatchee Wild
MY THOUGHTS: If it all comes down to the numbers, PG is in serious trouble. The Wild have won every playoff home game, a span of eight games, while dropping only three of seven on the road. The Spruce Kings took only three of eight road games while going 9-2 at home. The problem is the game is not played on paper and all the statistics get tossed into the trash with the start of a new series. The coaching advantage certainly leans in Wenatchee’s favor as well with iconic coach Bliss Littler behind the bench. The teams split the two-game season series with each winning at home. The teams also went at it in the first round of last season’s playoffs with the Wild advancing 4-2 in the best-of-seven series.
BCHL INSIDER SAYS: PG will have to put an end to Wenatchee’s home winning streak this weekend to have a fighting chance in this series. That’s been a tall order for every team that’s tried to do that in this year’s edition of the playoffs. The key to PG’s success will be shutting down the Wild’s speed advantage and stopping the Wild from peppering the netminders. Good luck with that.
PHOTO BY VICKI BROWN