Riders win at home
After holding on for a win in Creston on Friday, the Fernie Ghostriders returned home and continued their strong play with a solid 60 minute effort on Saturday evening, soundly defeating the visiting Spokane Chiefs 3 – 1. The victory moves the Riders into sole possession of first place in the Eddie Mountain Division.
Playing in Fernie for just the second time this season, the Riders looked at home from the drop of the puck. Taking advantage of an early powerplay, Ty Morton put the locals on the board just 39 seconds into the first period. The goal, the fourth of the season for the Port Hardy native, set the tone for a strong performance on both sides of the ice as the Riders were faster and more physical than the younger, smaller Braves team. Spokane’s only real pressure came halfway through the frame with a five on three man advantage but goaltender Chris Solecki continued his solid play between the pipes.
The second period, much like the first, saw the home team score early and continue to generate the majority of good scoring chances. Alex Pronchuk scored his second of the season just over two minutes in and the Riders held a two goal lead until Alex Marmon put the visitors on the board with under five minutes remaining.
The Ghostriders continued their territorial advantage into the third period despite holding only a one goal lead. Coach Will Verner’s team kept the foot on the pedal and put forth an impressive final 20 minutes, holding Spokane to only three shots. With the Braves net empty, forward Connor Mclaughlin would put it away for the Riders with 19 seconds left.
Fernie heads to Invermere on Tuesday night hoping to keep their perfect road record intact. The Columbia Valley Rockies are still looking for their first win of the season and bench boss Will Verner warns against taking this game lightly.
“You can’t take anybody for granted in this league. Whenever you’re winning you want to keep it going and we have to focus on what our team is doing.”
The Ghostriders return home on Friday night to host the Chase Heat. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
By Matt Laurin