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PHOTOS: Royal celebration crowns Prince George Spruce Kings’ historic season

More than one hundred fans, residents welcome team home from Nationals performance

One last hurrah with their community and their loyal fans!

The Prince George Spruce Kings celebrated what was the best season in franchise history today (May 21) at the Civic Centre with approximately 100 people young and old showing their appreciation of the exciting year.

In the 2018-19 season, Prince George won the B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) Fred Page Cup and the Pacific Junior ‘A’ Doyle Cup for the first time ever along with a team-record 39 regular-season wins since joining the league in 1996.

Spruce Kings Board of Directors President Rick Turgeon spoke at the proceedings this afternoon, bringing up an interesting anecdote about how much this season meant to the city.

“They did everything in style,” he explained to the crowd. “Your Spruce Kings are the first B.C. Hockey League community-owned team to win this [Fred Page Cup] championship.”

The team was one goal shy of winning its first National Championship this past weekend in Brooks, losing to the host-Bandits 4-3 in the gold medal game.

Head Coach Adam Maglio gives credit to the players he had in just his second full season on the bench for the Spruce Kings.

“Without great kids, character kids, the work they put in the entire year, they’re very deserving of these accomplishments. We’re losing a big number of players this year as they move on to college and they’ll be missed, but at the end of the day they’re the reason why we’re standing here today.”

One of the graduating players is team captain Ben Poisson, who got the chance to express his gratitude on a historic season

“We want to thank every volunteer, anyone who’s done anything for us, we really appreciate it because it means a whole lot to us,” said Poisson at the podium. “We want to thank the fans, especially during the playoffs here; made a lot of things easier for us and it was part of our success. We want to thank the coaches and the trainers and finally, I just want to thank all the players for making my last year of junior hockey very incredible.”

Fans got the chance to take photos and get autographs from their favourite players after the formal presentation, all looking forward to next season to see if the Spruce Kings can defend their title and have another shot at the National Championship.

The last hockey team in Prince George to win a Canadian title was the 1977-78 Mohawks.

(Speeches begin at 9:36)