Update Monday October 31 – An emergency meeting is called for Monday evening, October 31, in a last ditch attempt to save the Regals for this season. A report on this meeting will be posted as soon as details are available.
Original Story Below- Saturday, October 29
The High Prairie Regals have folded on the eve of the 2016-17 North Peace Hockey League season, just hours from playing their first game.
The Regals informed NPHL president Jack McAvoy of their decision Oct. 28.
“The High Prairie Regals have informed me that they are folding their team for the 2016-17 hockey season,” wrote a disappointed McAvoy in a e-mail.
“I did not want this to happen but they couldn’t proceed due to a lack of players and sponsorship.”
The Regals took a leave of absence two years ago before the start of the season. It was the first time since their inaugural season in 1957-58, that the Regals did not ice a team in the NPHL, and ended in impressive streak of 57 consecutive years of operation.
The Regals rejoined the NPHL last season but posted a terrible 0-24 record. Overall, the club has now lost 30 straight games.
The club attempted to raise money with a small executive since the spring but little came to fruition. Last week, two longtime executive members resigned to further complicate efforts.
The Regals’ folding leaves the West Division teams with 22 games and East Division with 20 games. All games with the Regals are deleted. Games will be added in the East Division at random to bring their total back to 22. The new schedule will be released early next week.
The Regals still hold NPHL records for most championships with 13 and most first place finishes with 16. However, the last title was won in 1988-89 and the last first place finish was in 1991-92.
The Regals entered the NPHL in 1957 after the completion of the Sports Palace the same year. The Regals were first sponsored by the High Prairie Elks. The name ‘Regals’ came from a competition at the local high school and the colours that the Regals still sport today, red and black, were also chosen at that time.
The Regals’ first title was in 1958-59 and was the first of two straight. The glory years of the team were from 1971-72 to 1985-86, when the team won 10 titles and lost three other finals in 15 years.