I often suggest the BCHL is by far the strongest junior A league in the country. The latest edition of the Royal Bank Cup shows why, and why most NCAA scholarship deals are awarded to BCHL players.
Chilliwack gained from being host of the event, but, still, the 12th-ranked of 17 BCHL teams looked a worthy winner of the RBC tournament, losing only its opening match of the round robin portion, in overtime, to the best team in the tournament.
Twelfth, five places from the bottom of the pack and unable to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs in the BCHL, but clearly better than every other team in the tournament than the BCHL champion Wenatchee Wild, themselves robbed of a finals berth by the kind of goaltending only Marc-Andre Fleury is supposed to be providing these days.
It is tough out there, particularly in the Interior Division, which placed five teams ahead of the national champions in regular season play.
Just so you know, the new, new regime in control of the Smoke Eaters has serious work ahead of it.
• Nice to see Jack Johnson, the legendary boxer persecuted – not least because he married a white woman – for being too tough for all the white men in the pugilistic field, finally being pardonned from a trumped-up charge.
Strange that after many decades of being low hanging fruit ignored by so-called progressives, it was the certifiably bigoted Donald Trump that did the deed and will reap the political reward for it.
• Wickedly difficult Stanley Cup Final to predict, particularly because both starting goalies have been phenomenal of late. Do not forget that the Caps’ Holtby has not surrendered a single goal over the last two and a half hours he has played.
The Caps have the edge in high end talent, but the Knights have had a quickness, relentlessness, edge over every opponent so far. I have no dog in the fight, but recent playoff hockey has been stupendous entertainment – so I hope it goes at least six.
• Meanwhile, the Champions League Final – the culmination of the toughest competition in world football, kicks off at 11 or so Saturday. Not a bad way for a sports fan to kill a little time on an NHL-less weekend. A well respected name, Liverpool (the most successful British team in the competition, once called the European Champions Cup), taking on the all-time greatest of Champions League competitors, Real Madrid.
Just in case, you know, any of you are football fans.