Short-handed Regals blasted in opener

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

One could not imagine a worse start to the North Peace Hockey League season for the High Prairie Regals.

The Regals were blasted 12-0 at Manning Nov. 2 and made the trip with only six players. In what can only be described as embarrassing for the NPHL, the second period was played four-on-four straight time and they didn’t even bother playing the third period.

To make matters worse, a $1,000 fine kicks in for any team not having nine skaters and a goalie.

The Regals also set an NPHL record [since the start of the 1989-90 season] with their 10th straight opening night loss, and second straight at Manning to start a season.

Braden Gamble picked up the shutout by making only three saves, which has to be an NPHL record. It was Manning’s first shutout win over the Regals at home in regular season play since detailed stats were kept in 1989-90.

It was also Manning’s first shutout over the Regals since Feb. 9, 1991 – a span of 28 years – when Eric Henitiuk won at High Prairie 5-0.

Josh Rutherford scored four goals and added two assists to lead the onslaught. Former NPHL Rookie-of-the-Year Taylor Paulovich added two goals and two assists. Layne MacLean added one goal and four assists while Logan Newman, Jeff Boese and Adam Larsen each added one goal and one assist. Brett Nicklason and Britt Oleschefski added the other goals. Michael Gillen added five assists.

Playing for the Regals were goaltender Ryan Penchuk, Ross Cowell, Jamie MacMinn, Arron Froment, Andrew Lamouche and Brennan Walker.

It is obvious the Regals face an upward battle as the season progresses.

The two teams meet again in the Regals’ home opener Nov. 7. The Regals are at Grimshaw Nov. 9 and at Dawson Creek Nov. 14.

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