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North Peace Hockey League

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The North Peace Hockey League is a Canadian men's Senior ice hockey league based in Northern Alberta and North Eastern British Columbia. It is not professional but the teams and players play at a reasonably high calibre. The NPHL draws several hundred fans to each game, with many games being sold out each night.

With a history that dates back to the early 1950s, the NPHL is the has the distinction of being one of the longest continually running senior hockey league currently in existence in western Canada. The league was down to two teams (Peace River Stampeders and High Prairie Regals) in the early 1970s, when it played an interlocking schedule with the South Peace Hockey League.

The Formation of the NPHLEdit

(PEACE RIVER - 1953) - It was in the fall of 1953 when steps were taken to form the North Peace Hockey League. On Oct. 14, 1953, the first official steps in forming the NPHL were taken when a meeting was held in Peace River. Representatives from McLennan, High Prairie and Peace River attended the meeting. Fairview and Falher were not present but indicated they were interested in joining the new league. People attending the meeting agreed to meet again Oct. 25 to further discuss plans for the new league. On Oct. 25, 1953 the NPHL was officially formed. Only representatives from Falher and Peace River attended the meeting but McLennan sent a letter saying they were definitely interested. Lee J. Boyd of Peace River was elected president with T. Dentinger of Falher vice-president and W.B. Skead of Peace River as secretary-treasurer. Final plans for the league were postponed until a meeting Nov. 8. On Nov. 1, 1953, the Wheat Belt Hockey League met in Fairview. The host Monarchs officials informed the Wheat Belt Hockey League they were leaving for the new NPHL. That left Grande Prairie, Dawson Creek and Hythe in the WBHL. Immediately, the WBHL decided to ask the NPHL to consider interlocking. Previously, the idea was discussed with teams attempting to form the NPHL. On Nov. 12, 1953, the NPHL met in Peace River and agreed on a four-team league comprised of Fairview, Falher, McLennan Peace River. Teams paid a $50 entry fee and a $200 performance bond. The NPHL agreed on an 18-game schedule that included interlocking games with the WBHL. On Nov. 18, 1953, the NPHL met and agreed on an interlocking schedule with the WBHL. On Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1953 the NPHL opened it season with the Peace River Stampeders losing 2-0 to the hometown Fairview Monarchs and the visiting Falher Pirates losing to the McLennan Red Wings 4-0. On Saturday, March 20, 1954 the Fairview Monarchs defeated the visiting Peace River Stampeders 4-3 to win the first NPHL championship. Captain Larry Harmata accepts a scroll as the Victory Cup does not arrive in Fairview in time for the presentation. The Victory Cup was not named for a team claming victory in the league, rather it was named after the Peace River Victory Hotel, who sponsored the trophy. One week later in an interview, league president Lee J. Boyd says he is pleased with the NPHL's inaugural season. "The league is here to stay," he is quoted in the Peace River Record-Gazette. "All we have to do is stick together."

source: http://web.archive.org/web/20070303054400/http://www.nphlhockey.com/history.html

Prior to the start of the 2014-15 season the league has started to openly question its future on the league's webite in the following post:

"A number of teams did not sign up to the NPHL this year, mainly due to player shortages. There are some in the league who are now fearing the NPHL could be nearing its end if the trend continues. Once a team misses a season, it becomes more difficult to make a comeback the next year. In the case of the Dawson Creek Canucks, last season they were having difficulty getting players. This year when long term players Adam Lonkin and Chris Stevens (some of the most dedicated players on the team) decided to retire from hockey, the rest followed suit, including some of executive who won't be back in the future. So this year, the league is down to 7 teams from 10 last year, but that still might change. Rumours have now surfaced that one of the teams that has signed up is talking about backing out because of lack of players. If that happens, it means a new schedule will have to be done. Stay tuned."  

The High Prairie Regals dropped out after playing for 56 straight seasons in the league and the Dawson Creek Canucks sat out thier second straight season in 2014-15. Fortunately, the Dawson Creek Canucks and High Prairie Regals returned for the 2015-16 season.


TeamsEdit

Team Centre Arena
Dawson Creek Canucks Dawson Creek EnCana Events Centre
Falher Pirates Falher, Alberta Falher Arena
Fort St. John Flyers Fort St. John North Peace Arena
Grand Prairie Athletics Grande Prairie, Alberta Coca-Cola Centre
Grimshaw Huskies Grimshaw Grimshaw Memorial Arena
High Prairie Regals High Prairie High Prairie Sports Palace
Manning Comets Manning Manning Sports Centre Arena
Spirit River Rangers Spirit River, Alberta Spirit River Ag-rena
Valleyview Jets Valleyview, Alberta Valleyview Recreation Centre


Former Teams:

  • Hythe Mustangs
  • Grimshaw Huskies (re-joined for 2011-12 season after windstorm damage to arena in 2003 and arena burning down in 2008)
  • Lakeland Eagles (based in McLennan)
  • Manning Comets (re-joined for 2012-13 season)
  • Dawson Creek Canucks
  • Fairview Elks, Fairview Kings (out just before start of  2011-12 season) , Fairview Monarchs, McLennan Red Wings, Rycroft Flames, Dawson Creek Canucks (returned) , Horse Lake Thunder, Horse Lake Chiefs (out after 2011-12 season) , Manning Comets (returned for 2012-13 season after being out 5 seasons, Grimshaw Huskies, Fort Nelson Fury, Peace River Stampeders, and Beaverlodge 77s

SeasonsEdit

Famous playersEdit

Former NHL superstar Theoren Fleury played a season with the Horse Lake Thunder in 2004. The 2004 Horse Lake roster also included former NHL tough guy Gino Odjick, bubble players Sasha Lakovic and Dody Wood. The Thunder had spent millions of dollars on a new arena, players and the team went on to win the championship that year in an attempt at winning the Allan Cup. The Thunder were defeated in the semi finals by a team from Thunder Bay. Former New York Rangers goalie and current St. Louis Blues president John Davidson played one season with the High Prairie Regals in the early 1970s.

Reg Bentley, one of the famous Bentleys of NHL fame was a player/coach for the High Prairie Regals for a couple years in the early 1960's. Roger Bellerive, who later spent a few years with the Portland Buckaroos of the old Western Professional Hockey League played for the Falher Pirates in the late 1950's. Former American Hockey League star, Fred Hilts played a few seasons for the Spirit River Rangers, who were then in the old South Peace Hockey League in the early 1960's.

Norm Skrudland, father of former NHL star Brian, starred with the Grimshaw Huskies in the early 1960's. Former San Jose Sharks property Todd Holt also spent time in the NPHL. As well, former NHL and AHL player Wade Campbell played in Grimshaw before and after his professional career.

Other NHL Payers to don an NPHL jersey include: Ed Beers, Howard Walker.


ChampionsEdit

  • 1953-54 Fairview
  • 1954-55
  • 1955-56
  • 1956-57 McLennan
  • 1957-58 Grimshaw Huskies
  • 1958-59 High Prairie Regals
  • 1959-60 High Prairie Regals
  • 1960-61 Grimshaw Huskies
  • 1961-62 Grimshaw Huskies
  • 1962-63 Peace River
  • 1963-64 Peace River
  • 1964-65 Peace River
  • 1965-66 Peace River
  • 1966-67
  • 1967-68 Peace River
  • 1968-69 Peace River
  • 1969-70
  • 1970-71
  • 1971-72 High Prairie Regals
  • 1972-73
  • 1973-74
  • 1974-75
  • 1975-76 High Prairie Regals
  • 1976-77
  • 1977-78 High Prairie Regals
  • 1978-79
  • 1979-80
  • 1980-81
  • 1981-82
  • 1982-83 High Prairie Regals
  • 1983-84
  • 1984-85 High Prairie Regals
  • 1985-86 High Prairie Regals
  • 1986-87
  • 1987-88 Grimshaw Huskies
  • 1988-89 High Prairie Regals
  • 1989-90 Grimshaw Huskies
  • 1990-91 Fairview Kings
  • 1991-92 Grimshaw Huskies
  • 1993-94 Peace River Stampeders
  • 1994-95 Peace River Stampeders
  • 1995-96 Grimshaw Huskies
  • 1996-97 Grimshaw Huskies
  • 1997-98 Spirit River Rangers
  • 1998-99 Grimshaw Huskies
  • 1999-00 Spirit River Rangers
  • 2000-01 Spirit River Rangers
  • 2001-02 Dawson Creek Canucks
  • 2002-03 Dawson Creek Canucks
  • 2003-04 Horse Lake Thunder
  • 2004-05 Horse Lake Thunder
  • 2005-06 Spirit River Rangers
  • 2006-07 Peace River Stampeders
  • 2007-08 Spirit River Rangers
  • 2008-09 Fort St. John Flyers
  • 2009-10 Grand Prairie Athletics
  • 2010-11 Spirit River Rangers
  • 2011-12 Falher Pirates
  • 2012-13 Spirit River Rangers
  • 2013-14 Spirit River Rangers
  • 2014-15 Spirit River Rangers
  • 2015-16 Spirit River Rangers

Peace River has won one more championship and Fahler  has won 2 more championships,Grimshaw has won 4 more championships, and HIgh Prairie have each won 3 more championships all between 1972 and 1984 (not sure on dates)

source for championship teams:

http://www.discoverthepeacecountry.com/htmlpages/north_peace_hockey-archives/northpeacehockey-extra/history/history-game6.html

External linksEdit

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at North Peace Hockey League. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).


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