5-time defending NPHL champs leave

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The North Peace Hockey League’s five-time defending champions will not be back to defend their title.

The Spirit River Rangers officially informed NPHL President Jack McAvoy Oct. 14 of their decision and also asked for a one-year leave of absence due to lack of players.

The NPHL discussed the news with its teams since being officially informed Oct. 13 of the Rangers’ likely departure. A new schedule has since been drawn and released. It is published on page 14.

The [Rangers] sincerely regret having to make this decision and its timing, we do appreciate and acknowledge the amount of time plus the work put forth to date, to set up divisions, schedules, refs and ice in nine different communities and for that we offer our apologies,” wrote general manager Mel Vollman.

The Rangers rank fourth in NPHL history with 10 Campbell Cup titles. The High Prairie Regals and Grimshaw Huskies lead with 13, Peace River has 11. They have also won four Lawrence Cup titles for amassing the most points during the regular season.

The Rangers entered the NPHL in 1992-93 and played in each season except for 2009-10, when they took a one-year leave of absence.

The league’s East Division is now comprised of the Falher Pirates, Grimshaw, High Prairie, Manning Comets and Valleyview Jets. The West is comprised of the Dawson Creek Canucks, Fort St. John Flyers and Grande Prairie Athletics.

A revised playoff format will be announced by the league in the coming weeks.

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