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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John Senior Flyers honoured the late Paul Leriger ahead of their game against the Spirit River Rangers in the North Peace Arena last Saturday. 

Paul Leriger, a former Flyer and father of Flyer’s head coach Andrew Leriger, passed away in 2018 after losing his battle with MSA (multiple system atrophy), a rare disorder that affects the central nervous system.

The Flyers honoured Leriger with a speech from the team’s president, Paul van Nostrand, before retiring his jersey number 16. 

Leriger played 13 seasons with the Flyers from 1965 until 1978. According to van Nostrand, Leriger was “instrumental” in helping the Flyers win 10 South Peace Hockey League championships and six All Peace championships. 

“When his playing days came to an end, Paul then continued to be heavily involved with the Flyers,” said van Nostrand. 

“He was an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, director, and president until his retirement from the club in 1997.”

Before the honourary puck drop, the Flyers presented Leriger’s family with a framed sweater “in honour of his over 30 years of service” to the hockey club. 

Leriger’s son and Flyers head coach Andrew Leriger said it “felt pretty special” to see his father being honoured.

“All of our immediate family was there,” said Leriger.

“It was awesome to have everyone come and show their appreciation.”

After the ceremony, the Flyers hit the ice to take on the Spirit River Rangers. The team had just returned home after a close 6-5 loss to the Huskies in Grimshaw last Friday. 

Saturday night’s game was scoreless for the Flyers, resulting in a 5-0 shutout for the Rangers. 

The Flyers will face off against the Manning Comets this Friday at home before hitting the road to Dawson Creek on Saturday to take on the Senior Canucks. 

The puck drop for both games is at 8:30 p.m.

Photo credit: Street Legal Photography

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Jordan Prentice is a multimedia reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of BCIT’s Broadcast and Online Journalism program. Born and raised in Vancouver, Jordan’s passion for broadcast and journalism began with her dream of becoming a hockey journalist and play-by-play commentator. During her schooling, Jordan discovered a deep passion for reporting on Indigenous issues, culture and affairs. Jordan is also passionate about connecting with and listening to stories from people...