South Peace News
The statistics show improvement, but where it counts most – in the NPHL standings – concerns the High Prairie Regals most.
The club lost twice last week to run its opening season losing streak to six games.
Not that it matters because everyone makes the playoffs, but the team will want to turn it around sooner than later.
The Regals lost both games at home, 9-8 to the Grimshaw Huskies in a thrilling shootout on Nov. 22, and 5-3 to the undefeated Dawson Creek Canucks Nov. 24.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Regals, who begin a three-game road trip through the East Division with games at Grimshaw Nov. 29, at Manning Dec. 1 and at Falher Dec. 6, before returning home to face the Comets Dec. 8.
Cole Diewert’s goal with 14 seconds left in the third period tied the game 8-8 and the Huskies went on to the 9-8 shootout win.
The Huskies led 6-2 after one period before the Regals rallied to close the gap to 7-6 after two periods.
What was anything but a defensive gem turned into one in third period as the goaltenders were phenomenal – Bud Dyck for the Huskies and Matt MacMinn for the Regals – as the teams went scoreless the first 15 minutes.
Ira Gladue scored twice late in the period to give the Regals their only lead of the night before Diewert’s heroics.
But the fun was just getting started.
In overtime, Damian Cardinal took a slashing penalty putting the Huskies on the power play. HP’s Lloyd AhKimNachie was stopped on a breakaway, then the Huskies hit two goalposts. With 45 seconds left in overtime, the Regals also hit the iron and a shootout was left to decide the winner.
As bizarre as this game was, the game-winner in the shootout was a fluke. Ty Wiebe’s shot went off MacMinn’s shoulder, off the crossbar, bounced back to hit MacMinn before going into the net.
Jacob Anderson could have tied the game after deking Dyck but he relaxed for a second instead of burying the puck and Dyck flew his hand across the crease to make a spectacular save.
Bond Hawryluk’s goal sealed the win.
Matt Flette scored twice for the Huskies while Bond Hawryluk, Brendan Hawryluk, Ty Wiebe, Brandon Bogdanek, Cole Diewert and Colter Wiebe added singles.
Ira Gladue scored three goals to lead the Regals, while Chris LeGresley, Luc L’Hirondelle, Jamie MacMinn and Damian Cardinal added singles.
The Huskies [3-0-1-0] remained undefeated in regulation this season and pulled into first place in the East Division with the win, while the Regals earned their first point [0-4-0-1] and remained last in the East.
The Huskies’ win snapped a two-game slide in High Prairie but they have still won seven of the last nine meetings in High Prairie.
Of note, the Regals have yet to win an NPHL game in a shootout. The NPHL adopted the shootout in 2006-07.
Tow nights later, the Canucks made it five straight wins to start the NPHL season at the expense of the Regals.
Matt Schmermund scored three goals while Jeff Taylor and Jason Higson added the others as DC remained perfect and the High Prairie Regals winless.
Mitch Price, Hector Lamouche and Jacob Anderson replied for HP.
Schmermund and Higson opened the scoring in the first period but Anderson and Lamouche tied the game. Taylor’s goal with 5:39 left in the period gave DC a lead they would never relinquish.
Schmermund scored his second and third goals in the second period with Price’s goal sandwiched in-between.
The game was played virtually penalty free with each team receiving only eight PIMs. Each team was also 1-for-2 on the PP with Schmermund and Lamouche netting the PP goals.
The game was played in just under two hours.
DC is now 10-3 all-time in games played in HP.