Revenge for Fernie Riders
By Matt Laurin
The Fernie Ghostriders won both games over the weekend, winning 5 – 4 in Creston before returning home to beat the Kimberley Dynamiters 3 – 2 on Saturday.
With only six games remaining, the Riders (30 – 12 – 1 – 3) increased their division lead to four points over the Golden Rockets.
It was an old-fashioned shootout in Creston on Friday, with both teams combining for 100 shots on goal.
“The goalies sure had a workout that night. It was pretty back and forth, but Solecki played great for us,” said Ghostriders forward Dylan Robertson. “We need him to be great the rest of the year to have a good playoff run.”
After a streak of slow starts, Fernie reversed the role and jumped out to a 2 – 1 lead after 20 minutes. The Thunder Cats battled back, thanks to three powerplay goals, before Joel Burgess scored the game winner midway though the third period.
Derek Georgopoulos led all skaters with two goals and an assist. The shifty forward leads all Ghostriders with 18 goals on the season.
A week after losing in overtime to the Kimberley Dynamiters, the Riders exacted revenge on the Nitros on Saturday. There was clearly no love lost, in another penalty filled affair between the two rivals.
Dallin Wolf put the visitors on the board early in a back-and-forth first period, before an unusual suspect stepped up for the home team.
Rookie Jake MacLachlan dropped the mitts with an older and more experienced Jacob Boyczuk, in a spirited second period tilt.
“He took on a big kid who had a lot of weight on him,” said Robertson, who has played that role for the Riders most of the year. “He did just fine and it really sparked the boys.”
It clearly did. Braeden Monk’s powerplay goal tied the game just over 10 seconds later.
Tyson Klingspohn briefly restored the Nitros lead, before R.T. Rice answered for the Riders late in the second period.
Fernie controlled most of the third, but it was Robertson who played hero with only three minutes remaining in regulation.
“I came flying off the bench, went down deep and the puck popped out right around the net. I just put it backhand and it went in,” Robertson said. “It was a great feeling. Probably my biggest goal of the year.”
The Riders will hope to keep the momentum going, when they host the Columbia Valley Rockies and the Kelowna Chiefs this weekend.
Roberson said it’s important to keep the pedal down if the Riders hope to win their fourth consecutive division title.
“It’s a revenge weekend. We’ve lost a couple of tough ones to Columbia Valley and lost our only game against Kelowna this year. These are some big games for us.”
The action resumes Friday at Fernie Memorial Arena. As always, puck drops at 7:30 p.m.