It’s been 23 years since a Victoria major junior hockey team made the Western Hockey League playoffs.
That was in 1989 at the old Memorial Arena, five years before the Victoria Cougars packed up and moved to Prince George.
This weekend, Capital Region puck fans can join the bandwagon, if they haven’t already, and cheer on the Victoria Royals as they battle the always-tough Kamloops Blazers.
It’s probably an understatement to say the Royals, despite finishing with a flourish with a pair of wins against the front-running Portland Winterhawks, are the underdogs in this series.
But that’s where the excitement lays, in the chance of knocking off a favoured team.
Fans came out to support the Victoria Salmon Kings in past years’ ECHL playoff runs.
We encourage fans to continue that tradition and give the youngsters on the ice the royal treatment, so to speak.
Royals’ supporters don’t even need to wait until the games come to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre next Tuesday and Wednesday to watch the lads.
Shaw TV is airing every game in the best-of-seven series, which starts tonight (March 23) in Kamloops and continues there tomorrow night, with both games on at 7 p.m.
Ironically, the Royals’ Saturday game conflicts with the Vancouver Canucks, who are in the midst of a minor tailspin as they head toward the National Hockey League playoffs.
The last few Royals home games were jammed at Save-On, as fans clamored to get a piece of the action.
We expect much of the same for the upcoming games, so if you want to be there in person, you better act fast.
Then again, you can always get some friends together and gather around the flatscreen in the living room to catch all the action.
It’s hockey night in Canada, at its finest.