Powell River Regals are trying to have a schedule of hockey games played again this winter, with three other teams that will ultimately decide a victor to compete in the Coy Cup. Regals opened the proposed West Coast Senior Hockey League on November 4 by beating South Island Knights 3-2 at Hap Parker Arena.
It was the first of eight games the Regals plan to play between now and February.
“Our hope is to get enough games in to qualify for the Coy Cup playoffs,” said Regals coach Tod English.
In order to do that, the four teams involved, including Knights, North Island Capitals, Kelowna Sparta and Regals, will have to play six games before January 10.
“We want to play 12 games minimum for the year,” said English. “We'll find out sometime in January how the playoffs are going to run, and more than likely the four teams will have a playoff of some sort to see who qualifies for the Coy Cup in Williams Lake.”
The cup is awarded to the BC Senior AA hockey champion.
Regals were able to successfully recruit local players for the game against the Knights. English said he had a full bench with enough players for four lines and six defenders.
“It was fun because it was just a bunch of new kids who were having a good time, and that's what it's about,” said English.
The team is happy with the interest so far, according to Mark McKamey, a former player with the Powell River Kings who is now on the ice as one of the Regals senior players.
McKamey scored one of three goals against the Knights and is leading the Regals player recruitment and development.
McKamey said he attributes interest from younger players for the resurgence in Regals interest.
“It may be that we have enough momentum among the younger group,” said McKamey. “We've got enough interested that they're pulling in their friends now from Comox and Nanaimo. It may just be a critical mass of the right age group.”
Most of the new players are local, according to McKamey, who’ve been on the island for school or work, but almost all are currently living in Powell River.
Regals' next game is Saturday, November 25, against the Knights in Chemainus, and then Sparta is here on December 9.
In August, Regals were inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame. This year is the 20th anniversary of the Regals 1997 Allan Cup Championship.
During its heyday, the team also won four national championships and numerous provincial titles.