Pirates’ plans for victory scuttled

Falher Pirate Pat Rowan looks to deflect the puck past High Prairie goaltender Matt MacMinn Jan. 16. MacMinn stopped 27 of 30 shots in leading the Regals to a 7-3 win.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

It is still a longshot, but not impossible.

The High Prairie Regals whipped the visiting Falher Pirates 7-3 Jan. 16 to keep their slim hopes of first place in the NPHL’s East Division alive.

More importantly, they proved once again they can compete with the Pirates as the playoffs draw closer.

Jacob Anderson and Junior Anderson staked the Regals to a 2-0 lead just over five minutes into the game. The Regals came out with an excellent effort and probably deserved a better fate than their 2-1 first period lead.

Jeremie Perron scored a first period goal for the Pirates before Craig Anderson’s second period tally tied the game. Falher had a much better second period but Regals’ goaltender Matt MacMinn was up to the task.

In the third, all was quiet until the 6:13 mark when Damian Cardinal scored to give the Regals the lead. It began a flurry of goals which saw the twine bent four times in 34 seconds. By the time the smoke had cleared, the Regals led 5-3. Lloyd AhKimNachie and Mitch Price scored the Regals’ goals while Pat Rowan replied for the Pirates.

With the game in the balance, the Pirates took consecutive penalties and the door was wide open for the Regals with the two-man power play advantage. Jay Anderson and Dakota Conroy scored power play goals 59 seconds apart to make it 7-3 and seal the win. When given an opportunity to slam the door shut, good teams do and that is exactly what the Regals did.

Four nights later, the Regals could not lose to the visiting Manning Comets, and although it was perhaps tougher than most expected, the Regals skated away with a 4-3 overtime win.

Al Anderson’s goal at 2:39 of overtime capped a pretty passing play and sent the home fans home happy.

Jacob Anderson gave the Regals a 1-0 first period lead before Martin Peters tied the game.

In the second, Caty Thomas gave the Comets their only lead of the night, only to see Jay Anderson tie the game at the 13:59 mark.

In the third, Gordy Laderoute gave the Regals a 3-2 lead but Steven Kover’s goal with 6:51 left sent the game into overtime.

As usual, Comets’ goaltender Braden Gamble was spectacular in net for the Comets stopping 55 of 59 shots.

Kent Ryan recorded the win in his first start of the season for the Regals.

The Regals finish the regular season with games at Falher on Jan. 25, at Manning Jan. 26, and at home against the Grande Prairie Athletics Jan. 27.

The Regals have clinched at least second place and will play home playoff games Tuesday, Jan. 30 and Saturday, Feb. 3 against either the Comets or Grimshaw Huskies.

 

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