Regals spoil Terry Houlder retirement party

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

For the better part of two decades, Grimshaw Huskies’ legend Terry Houlder terrorized the High Prairie Regals, winning many games in epic battles between the clubs.

But at his retirement ceremony Jan. 12, the Regals spoiled the party with a thrilling 6-5 overtime win.

Isaiah Letendre’s third goal of the night at 2:15 of overtime gave the visiting Regals the win.

Letendre’s goal came on the power play with Izaak Hudson off for holding.

It was the Regals’ second straight visiting win over the Huskies by the same 6-5 overtime score [the Regals won in Peace River Dec. 29]. The two wins mark the Regals’ first regular season overtime wins at GRIM since 1990 when they won 5-4.

The teams have also played three overtime games this season. Grimshaw won the first game 9-8 in a shootout after overtime settled nothing.

The win kept the Regals’ slim chances of catching the Huskies for third place in the East Division alive. The Regals trail the Huskies by six points [15-9] while the Huskies pulled to within one point of second place Manning with the charity point.

The Huskies blew leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in the second period after a 1-1 first period tie. The Regals rallied to take a 5-4 lead late into the game but Bond Hawryluk tied the game with 2:53 left sending it to overtime.

Austin Doan scored his first two goals of the season for the Regals while Dakota Conroy scored his first. Ironically, each High Prairie player who scored on this night did not score earlier this season, albeit Conroy and Letendre in limited action.

Other Huskies’ goals came from Sheldon Szmata, Ty Wiebe – his 20th of the season and short-handed two players – Lance Rapson and Kurt Konopelka.

Matt MacMinn made 47 saves of 52 shots for the Regals, who fired 45 shots themselves on the Huskies’ net.

The Regals were 2-for-7 on the power play, The Huskies 1-for-5.

The Regals were assessed 52 penalties in minutes, the Huskies 58.

All of the Regals’ three wins this season have come against the Huskies. The Regals are winless against the rest of the NPHL. Should the two teams tie at season’s end, the Regals would currently win any tiebreaker.

The win sets up a big game for the Regals Thursday, Jan. 19 when they host the Huskies. The Regals must win in regulation as an overtime or shootout wins virtually does them no good.

The Regals conclude play next week with a trip to Manning, when they have lost 12 straight games since 2007.

In another footnote to the game, the next time Grimshaw wants to retire a sweater, they might not ask the Regals to attend. When the Huskies retied Glen Paul’s No. 7 on Nov. 24, 2012, the Regals won 15-3.

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