In the first half of 2008, many teams and individuals including the UNBC Lady Timberwolves, Cariboo Cougars, New York Giants and Tiger Woods entertained fans with memorable performances. Here’s a recap of some of the sports stories from the first six months this year:
January: Canada received a scare but claimed gold for the 4th straight year at the World Junior Hockey championship by defeating Sweden 3-2 in overtime.
February: In one of the best Super Bowls (#42 in Arizona) the New York Giants shocked the New England Patriots 17-14, ending the Pats’ 18-game winning streak.
Curling titles went to former P.G. resident Bob Ursel of Kelowna (Provincial Mens), and Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones (Scotties Tournament of Hearts).
March: The UNBC Lady Timberwolves provided fans with the biggest thrill at the new Northern Sport Centre by dumping Camosun 71-54 in the BCCAA Women’s basketball final. The T-Wolves went on to a fifth place finish at the CCAA Nationals in Truro, Nova Scotia.
The Cariboo Cougars peaked at the right time as they became BC Major Midget Hockey champions, going 6-0 in the playoffs, after a fourth place regular season.
The P.G. Cougars and Spruce Kings finished forgettable seasons. The Cougars missed the WHL playoffs with a 20-48-1-3 record.
The Spruce Kings placed sixth in the BCHL Interior Conference before bowing out to Salmon Arm in the first round, losing 3 games to 1, blowing a 6-1 lead in game four.
In curling, Scott Sherba won his first Kelly Cup, Kevin Martin took the Tim Horton’s Brier, and Jennifer Jones captured the Ford World Women’s championship.
April: The Cariboo Cougars’ terrific season ended losing in the third and deciding game to host Calgary Buffaloes in the Pacific Region Major Midget Hockey playoff.
After missing the playoffs, the Vancouver Canucks fired GM Dave Nonis and replaced him with Mike Gillis. Canuck fans are patiently waiting to see the upgrade.
Speaking of hockey Penticton won the BCHL Fred Page Cup and the U.S., the Women’s World title.
South African Trevor Immelman celebrated his first major, capturing the Masters by three strokes over Tiger Woods.
Kevin Martin of Edmonton won his first Men’s World Curling title skipping Canada to a 6-3 victory over Scotland.
Prince George FC and the Edmonton Drillers split of pair of games in the Indoor Soccer Showcase Challenge at CN Centre in front of disappointing crowds of 2,100 and 1,500.
Boyd Bayne, Don Nachbaur, Shafeed Rahmann and the late Fernie Ollinger received the honor they deserved with induction into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame.
The CNC board of governors made the unpopular move of cutting its BCCAA volleyball and badminton programs.
May: After sweeping Lethbridge in the WHL final, the Spokane Chiefs won the Memorial Cup, downing the host Kitchener Rangers 4-1 in the final.
Tragedy struck the Vancouver Canucks when 21-year-old defenceman Luc Bourdon was killed in a motorcycle accident near his hometown of Shippagan, New Brunswick.
Russia edged host Canada 5-4 in OT in the final of the World Hockey Championship.
June: The NHL and NBA finals both went six games with neither series meeting pre-tournament expectations. Detroit captured its fourth Stanley Cup in 11 years by defeating the hometown Penguins 3-2. The Boston Celtics embarrassed the LA Lakers 131-92 for their 17th NBA title.
The Hockey Theme Song was saved; however, Saturday nights won’t be the same as CTV Inc. acquired the rights, after the CBC dropped the “puck” after 40 years.
Spain capped an unbeaten Euro 2008 soccer championship with a 1-0 (well at least it wasn’t on penalty kicks) ho-hum victory over Germany in the final.
P.G.’s Jessin Potskin (the top Canadian batter with a .442 average) helped Canada to a silver medal performance (behind Australia) at the ISF Junior Men’s World Fast Pitch Championship in Whitehorse.
Despite a throbbing knee, Tiger Woods won his third US Open title and 14th major edging Rocco Mediate by a shot in a 19-hole playoff. Golf is now on hiatus until Tiger returns in 2009.
The Summer Olympics, World Series and Grey Cup are some of the sports that should provide excitement in the second half of 2008. However, it’s always the unexpected that makes for a great sports year.
Hartley Miller is the sports director for radio stations 94X and the Wolf@97fm. He also writes for Opinion250. Hartley can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.