NPHL Playoff Preview/Prediction: HP vs FAL

Chris Clegg Writer

NPHL East Division Semi-Final
High Prairie Regals [4] vs Falher Pirates [1]

The High Prairie Regals face the Falher Pirates in a playoff series where FAL is a big favourite. Read all you need to know about the series.

Series Schedule

Tue., Feb. 5 – High Prairie at Falher
Thu., Feb. 7 – Falher at High Prairie
Sat., Feb. 9 – High Prairie at Falher
Tue., Feb. 12 – Falher at High Prairie
*Thu., Feb. 14 – High Prairie at Falher
*Sat., Feb. 16 – Falher at High Prairie
*Tue., Feb. 19 – High Prairie at Falher
(*) if necessary

The Season Series – 2018-19

1. Thu., Nov. 15 – Falher 10 at High Prairie 4
2. Thu., Dec. 6 – High Prairie 5 at Falher 6
3. Thu., Dec. 13 – Falher 7 at High Prairie 4
4. Thu., Dec. 20– High Prairie 3 at Falher 12
5. Thu., Jan. 24 – Falher 10 at High Prairie 2
6. Thu., Jan. 31 – High Prairie 0 at Falher 14

FAL swept the season series by winning all six games and outscored HP 59-18. FAL won at home 6-5, 12-3 and 14-0 and in HP 10-4, 7-4 and 10-2. Of recent note, FAL won the last two games by a combined 26-2 score.

Analysis: FAL is the overwhelming favourite to win this series. The stats prove it. FAL swept HP all six games this season and outscored HP 59-18.
FAL is one of few teams in NPHL history that can claim they own a series edge over HP. FAL has won six of nine series overall including last year’s six-game win in the NPHL Semi-Final. FAL also has a 25-18 edge in 43 playoff games all-time.
HP ranks at the bottom or near the bottom of most statistics. While FAL did finish first in the East, their rankings numbers don’t jump off the charts at you.
FAL’s PP is ranked fifth and HP’s seventh while FAL’s PK is a respectable third and HP’s sixth. FAL’s PP is just over 5% better than HP’s and the PK about 7%.
In shots on goal for per game and against, FAL is ranked third while HP is sixth. FAL gets about nine more shots on goal per game than HP, and allows almost eight less. In the all-important shots for and against, FAL was second in the NPHL with a +143 rating while HP was second worst at -251 shots. Huge difference!
FAL was dead even this season in PIMs for and against while HP was worst at -156 PIMs. If that translates into PP for FAL, HP is in trouble. HP draws only 19.17 PIMs per game but takes 25.67 PIMs per game. Contrary to the PIMs is that FAL ranks sixth in stick fouls PIMs per game at 4.46 while HP is third at only 3.29 PIMs.
It isn’t surprising to note HP was ranked in a tie for worst in the NPHL in times they scored first to start the game at 41.67%. However, FAL was ranked fifth at 45.83% – a strange number considering they placed first.
FAL was also only 7-4 when scoring first [ranking fourth] while HP was 2—8 to rank last. However, when allowing the first goal FAL was ranked first at 7-6 while HP was last at 2-12.
Leading after periods was not stellar for both teams. FAL was ranked fifth in having leads after the first and second periods while HP was last. FAL was 9-4 after one period and 13-2 after two while HP was 3-5 after one and 3-1 after two.
Trailing after the first period, FAL was 2-5 to rank third while HP was 0-13 to rank last. Both teams were skunked when trailing after two periods: FAL was 0-7 and HP 0-19.
FAL ranked first in goals scored in the first and second periods, but dropped to third in the final frame. HP was ranked fifth in the first, last in the second and sixth in the third.
Defensive records by period were stunningly similar; FAL ranked fourth in each period while HP was last.
FAL also ranked first or was tied for first in goals for and against in each period, in the first and second periods. HP ranked last in the second and third periods.
FAL did not panic when falling behind. They lead the NPHL is coming back to win games 33.33% of the time when trailing. HP had only 12.5%.
Meanwhile, HP led the league in blowing leads as they lost 41.67% of games when leading; FAL blew leads in 25% of its games.

Prediction: It would be hard to find anyone predicting HP to win. The question is how many games will it take FAL to win? HP is not without some talent, they’ve just had trouble getting it together all season. HP’s defence is weak, they were the only team to surrender over 200 goals. HP is capable of giving FAL some problems. FAL’s rakings don’t blow the doors off anyone and they might be prone to a short lapse. FAL has also been inconsistent all season but they did dominate HP and have done so for years. FAL is also loaded with veteran players who can take their game up a notch when it counts. FAL in five. I think HP can steal one game but any more than that will be a surprise.

High Prairie Regals – Falher Pirates Playoff History

The Pirates have the all-time lead in playoff history between the clubs winning six of nine series 25 of 43 games. The Pirates also have an impressive 14-7 home ice win-loss record in 21 games played. The teams have split 22 games played in HP with each team winning 11 games.


Falher 9 6 3 43 25 18 240 205
High Prairie 9 3 6 43 18 25 205 240
TOTALS 9 8 8 43 43 43 445 445

SP – series played; SW – series won;
SL – series lost; GP – games played;
GW – games won; GL – games lost;
GF – goals for; GA – goals against.

Regular Season Stats Package
[Ranking in Parenthesis]

Category High Prairie Falher

Record 4-17-2-1 [4-East] 14-9-0-1 [1-East]
Power Play 16-89, 17.98% [7] 29-123, 23.58% [5]
Penalty Kill 35-116, 69.83% [6] 30-130, 76.92% [3]
Shots For 34.38 per game [6] 43.00 per game [3]
Shots Vs 44.83 per game [6] 37.04 per game [3]
Shots For/Against -251 [6] +143 [2]
PIM For 25.67 per game [5] 22.58 per game [3]
PIM Vs 19.17 per game [2] 22.58 per game [3]
PIM For/Against -156 [7] 0 [4]
Scoring 1st 41.67% [T6] 45.83% [5]
Record Scoring 1st Goal 2-8 [7] 7-4 [4]
Record Allow 1st Goal 2-12 [7] 7-6 [1]
Lead After 1 Period 3-5 [7] 9-4 [5]
Trail After 1 Period 0-13 [7] 2-5 [3]
Lead After 2 Periods 3-1 [7] 13-2 [5]
Trail After 2 Periods 0-19 [7] 0-7 [T5]
Goals Scored in 1st 1.67 per game [5] 2.21 per game [1]
Goals Scored in 2nd 1.13 per game [7] 2.25 per game [1]
Goals Scored in 3rd 1.33 per game [6] 2.04 per game [3]
Goals Allowed in 1st 2.46 per game [7] 1.42 per game [4]
Goals Allowed in 2nd 3.38 per game [7] 1.29 per game [4]
Goals Allowed in 3rd 2.42 per game [7] 1.88 per game [4]
Goal Diff in 1 -19 [6] +19 [1]
Goal Diff in 2 -54 [7] +23 [T1]
Goal Diff in 3 -26 [7] +4 [T3]
Come From Behind Wins 12.50% [7] 33.33% [1]
Blown Leads 41.67% [7] 25.00% [T4]
Team Stick Fouls 3.29 PIM/Game [3] 4.46 PIM/Game [6]