For the first time in their in the BCHL, the Prince George Spruce Kings have garnered the attention of the CJHL appearing on their weekly rankings. The team has been flying under the radar for most of the season even after picking up wins against other ranked teams around the BCHL.
This is truly a feel good moment for the team and the city that has been rallying around the Spruce Kings. The players and the coaches are all taking it in stride and quietly reveling in the spotlight but also remaining grounded in their resolve to continue with their game plan.
"We didn't start the season looking to be ranked, we want to be the best team on the ice in each of our games and that is our focus," was one of the quotes from Dave Dupas when asked about the team's current record and performance. "The rankings are just a byproduct of the hard work of the guys on the ice."
"Falling off those rankings will be easier than climbing up," added the captain, Trevor Esau. "We want to climb up those rankings and that is going to be harder now."
Esau has seen the evolution of the team from a non-playoff team to its current status as a ranked team and wants to make sure his final year of junior hockey remains a positive one. "It is an honour to be playing for the Spruce Kings right now," Esau told me. "We all want to make something of our time in Prince George and for the city that we call home during the hockey season."
Below is the official press release from the Spruce Kings following the release of the National Rankings by the CJHL on October 29th.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRINCE GEORGE, BC – The latest Top 20 rankings of the Canadian Junior Hockey League were released earlier today with the Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) ranked twentieth in the nation.
Currently on a six game winning streak with a season record of 11-4-1-1, the Spruce Kings are leading the Mainland Division and are third overall in the BCHL. This is the first appearance in the CJHL Top Twenty for the Spruce Kings this season and puts them on the list with Penticton Vees (6), Victoria Grizzlies (10) and Chilliwack Chiefs (HM).
The CJHL Rankings are comprised each week in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting and are based upon a variety of factors including the league in which the teams belong to as well as recent regular season results.
The following are the CJHL Top 20 (As of Oct. 29, 2012) with the league they are members of in brackets.
1. Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
2. Truro Bearcats (MHL)
3. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL)
4. Melville Millionaires (SJHL)
5. OCN Blizzard (MJHL)
6. Penticton Vees (BCHL)
7. Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL)
8. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL)
9. Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL)
10. Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
11. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
12. Winnipeg Blues (MJHL)
13. Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL)
14. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL)
15. Summerside Western Capitals (MHL)
16. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
17. St. Michael's Buzzers (OJHL)
18. Saint Jerome Pantheres (LHJAAAQ)
19. Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL)
20. Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL)
Honourable Mention: Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL), Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL), Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL), Nepean Raiders (CCHL), Yarmouth Jr. 'A' Mariners (MHL).
The CJHL is an amalgamation of 10 Junior A hockey leagues from across Canada. Official Release from the CJHL.