Regals end historic losing streak to Pirates

Action was a little crowded in front of the High Prairie net during a game Dec. 7 in High Prairie. Left-right are goaltender Matt MacMinn, Trevor Mazurek, and Luc L’Hirondelle.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Over seven years of frustration including a club record 24 straight regular season losses to the Falher Pirates came to an abrupt end Dec. 7 when the High Prairie Regals blasted their arch-rivals in dominating fashion.

The Regals gained a measure of revenge with a 13-6 thrashing. Not only did the Regals record their first win over a quality opponent this season, it gave their much-starved fans an early Christmas present by showing how much potential they have.

It was the highlight of a week that saw the club handed a brutal schedule with three games in four days. The Regals lost at Grimshaw 8-5 to start the week on Dec. 5, then had to travel to Grande Prairie Dec. 8 and were blanked 8-0. The game was scheduled for Dec. 9 but had to be moved up one day. The Regals went with a short bench and had little gas left in the tank after a busy week.

But who really cared after the win over the Pirates, who led 3-2 after one period, and 4-2 and 5-3 in the second before the Regals exploded by scoring 10 of the game’s last 11 goals? After all, not since Dec. 10, 2010 had the Regals tasted success against the Pirates.

Lloyd AhKimNachie scored his first four goals of the season to lead the scoring, although Hector Lamouche scored three goals and added three assists to lead the team in points with six. It was Lamouche’s first six-point game of this career. Gordy Laderoute and Luc L’Hirondelle each added a pair while Dakota Conroy and Jacob Anderson added the others.

Nathan Smith and Jeff Chalifoux each replied with a pair of goals for the Pirates while Dakota Mason and Koltin Caron added the others.

It was refreshing to see the club handle the Pirates with such ease and perhaps justice finally prevailed. The Regals have worked very hard in recent home games against East Division powers Fort St. John Flyers and Dawson Creek Canucks with little reward. In the second period, when the puck finally started bouncing their way, they were rewarded with pucks flying into the Falher net from all directions.

The game was als0 highlighted by 114 minutes in penalties and a pair of fights. Nine slashing penalties were called in the nasty and chippy affair.

Matt MacMinn recorded his first NPHL win stopping 30 shots.

In Grimshaw, the Huskies recorded their first win of the season after six losses. The game was similar to the Falher battle but the tables were turned. The Regals led 4-2 in the second period before the Huskies rallied by scoring six of the game’s last seven goals.

Certainly not helping the cause was the fact the Regals took a slew foot double minor, and four straight minor penalties in the second period to allow the Huskies back into the game. By the time the smoke had cleared, the Huskies scored four power play goals on eight chances compared to the Regals’ one PPG in only three chances.

Bond Hawryluk netted the hat trick, including two PPGs and the game-winner, while Brendan Hawryluk, Ty Wiebe, Corson Fairless, Loewen Lambert, Brandon Bogdanek and Kevin Monfette added the others. Fairless also added four assists.

Kyle Olansky, Al Anderson, Drake Cunningham, Verny Cunningham and Lamouche replied for the Regals.

In the Swan City, the A’s led 1-0 after one period and 7-0 after two. Darren Walker stopped all 28 shots to record the shutout, his second of the season.

Jace Weegar and Lyndin Lewis each scored twice. Grant Rix, Cody Anderson, Mac Caron and Riley Boomgaarden added the other goals as the A’s outshot the Regals 49-28.

Only five minor penalties were called in the contest.

The Regals next play at home when they host the Grimshaw Huskies Dec. 14. Game time at the Sports Place at 8:30 p.m. Next Saturday, Dec. 16, the Regals make the long trip to Fort St. John to play the Flyers.

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