Regals will finish last in East Divison

Jamie MacMinn [#25] mixes it up in front of the Grimshaw Huskies’ net Jan. 17.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Two more losses last week have left the High Prairie Regals in last place in the NPHL’s East Division.

And that is exactly where they will finish.

The Regals lost at home 6-5 Jan. 17 to the Grimshaw Huskies, then were blasted 10-2 at Manning Jan. 19.

The Regals [3-14-2-1] have nine points and trail the Huskies [7-10-3-0 for 17 points] by eight points in the race for third and to avoid a first round playoff date with the Falher Pirates, who have all but clinched first.

The problem is the Huskies win any tiebreaker with the season series completed. If the teams were tied, each team would have seven wins, but the Huskies earned eight points in games versus the Regals this season compared to seven.

The Regals’ faint hopes of catching the Huskies took a major blow in the 6-5 loss. It marked the third straight 6-5 decision between the clubs this season but the first time the Huskies emerged winners.

Five times the Huskies took the lead in the game and five times the Regals rallied to tie the game. Colter Wiebe’s third period goal with 2:59 left decided the game.

Bond Hawryluk scored three goals to lead the Huskies including a power play goal and shorthanded goal. Clint Reid, with his first of the season, and Logan Putio added the other goals.

Dakota Conroy scored twice for the Regals, with singles going to Kirk Ruecker, Chris LeGresley, and Isaiah Letendre.

The Regals outshot the Huskies 49-31 including 18-7 in the third period when the Huskies appeared to be hanging on for dear life despite tremendous pressure from the Regals but goaltender Bud Dyck stood tall for the Huskies.

The Huskies’ win gave them a season series split with each team winning three games. However, the Huskies did lose two overtime games and won in a shootout.

Nine different Manning Comets scored and Taylor Paulovich added a career high five assists in their 10-2 thumping of the visiting Regals Jan. 19 but another story is brewing.

The Regals made the trip with only nine players, which results in fines imposed by the NPHL. With league president Jack McAvoy at the game, he will have first-hand knowledge of the matter moving forward.

The Comets were not about to let the huge advantage slip in their battle for second place with the Huskies and home ice advantage in the first round of playoffs. Still, the Regals put up a brave fight, trailing 1-0 after one period and 3-0 after two despite being outshot 30-23. The Regals finally ran out of gas and the Comets scored seven third period goals to win going away.

Matt Boyd scored twice to lead the Comets. Single goals came off the sticks of Michael Gillen, Adam Larsen, Jordy Greschner, Jeremie Perron, Payton Proskurniak, Brit Olischefski, Thomas Dechant and Tyler Dillman.

Verny Cunningham and Isaiah Letendre replied for the Regals, who were outshot 49-33.

Both teams were scoreless on one power play chances. Each team only received one minor penalty in the contest.

Meanwhile, in the race for second, the Comets lead the Huskies by three points. Each team has four games left to play. Manning makes two trips to Grimshaw Jan. 24 and Feb. 1, however.

The Comets also clinched at least third place in the East with the win.

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