South Peace News
The North Peace Hockey League could have as many as nine teams for the coming season, or as few as seven.
Plans for the season will be finalized at the league’s annual general meeting in Fairview Sept. 26.
The Spirit River Rangers have filed notice of their intention to rejoin the NPHL after a one-year absence. The Rangers were on an incredible streak of winning five straight titles which is second only to the Peace River Stampeders record run of seven straight from 1962-63 to 1968-69.
The Valleyview Jets were also trying to organize a team, although they had not filed an official intention to rejoin the league as of Sept. 22. Time is quickly running out on any effort to rejoin.
The seven existing teams: Dawson Creek Canucks, Falher Pirates, defending champion Fort St. John Flyers, Grande Prairie Athletics, Grimshaw Huskies, High Prairie Regals, and Manning Comets all have indicated they are ready to ice teams.
The number of teams entering will affect teams’ decision on the schedule, which is approved at the meeting. Travel will be impacted in a big way with Spirit River being centrally located but Valleyview on the outer edges of the league.
From a High Prairie perspective, they would love to have Valleyview back in because the trip takes less than one hour and they would become the team’s second longest trip.
After a successful season last year which saw the Regals reach the East Division Semi-Final, they are ready to go. Their situation has stabilized after some difficult years and they appear to be on their way back to becoming a threat to winning the league title.
There is little business other than the pending applications from Rangers and Jets. Admission fees will be set for the season, and teams will submit scheduling requests. The playoff format will also be determined, and will likely change if the league swells to eight or nine teams.
Manning’s Jack McAvoy is the league president for another year in 2018-19. It will be his 39th year in the position, having served from 1979-80 to 1986-86, and from 1987-88 to 2017-18.