Riders roll past Rockies
By Matt Laurin
The Fernie Ghostriders improved their winning streak to five, after beating the Columbia Valley Rockies in back to back games over the weekend.
The Riders (7 – 3 – 0 – 1) won 5 – 1 both nights, and continue to lead the Eddie Mountain Division heading into games against Golden and Kimberley.
Head coach Barry Wolff has been impressed with his team’s improvement since the beginning of the season. “It’s been a learning curve for everybody, for the new guys and the guys returning from last year,” said Wolff. “Certain things are a lot different from what they’re used to, but slowly and surely it’s coming together. We are getting better every game.”
After struggling just to stay in games last season, Columbia Valley is a much improved team. They have already increased their win total from last year.
“They made a bunch of changes since the beginning of the year and are playing with a lot of new life,” said Wolff. “They play a tough style in the neutral zone, and it was an adjustment for our guys. We weathered the storm and were finally able to score some goals.”
Matt Carr opened the scoring on Friday night, and the Riders got goals from Aaron Neufeld, Simon Horlick and Dylan Rota in the second period. Rookie Jeff Rayman added a goal in the third, his first as a Ghostrider.
On Saturday in Invermere, Joel Burgess led the way with two goals, while Austin Hirano and Josh McKissock both scored for the first time this season. McKissock made his season debut on Friday night, after being sidelined with an injury.
After being held off the score sheet the night before, Brendan Burge added two assists on Saturday to increase his point total to 22 in eleven games this season.
The Ghostriders will try to build on their winning streak this weekend, when they host the Golden Rockets on Friday, before heading to the hostile confines of Kimberley Civic Centre to face the rival Dynamiters.
“It’s a huge weekend for us,” said Wolff. “We are just trying to take it one game at a time, but we know we’ve got some big games coming up.”