Sports

Ghostriders set to play four games in four days

Defenceman Anthony Gilbert scored his first goal for the Ghostriders on Saturday, Dec. 28. - Sara Moulton
Defenceman Anthony Gilbert scored his first goal for the Ghostriders on Saturday, Dec. 28.
— image credit: Sara Moulton

By Sara Moulton

Free Press Staff

The Fernie Ghostriders came back from a short Christmas break to defeat their main rivals, the Kimberley Dynamiters, 4 goals to 3 in front of a full house on Saturday, December 28.

The game was the first of four in a row for the Riders. With almost 1,200 spectators watching, the energy of the game was some of the best seen at the Fernie Memorial Arena this season. Dylan Robertson (assisted by Joel Burgess) opened the scoring with a seemingly effortless shorthanded goal towards the end of the first period, leading the way to an entertaining and evenly matched game.

The Ghostriders remained ahead for the entire game despite a great effort by the Dynamiters, with goals being scored back and forth between the two teams. Kimberley answered the call with a goal of their own before the end of the first period and continued working hard to keep pace with the Riders. The ever-reliable Aaron Neufeld (assisted by Robertson and Kurtis Bond) scored his tenth goal of the season in the opening minute of the second period, which was soon followed by another from Anthony Gilbert (assisted by Ben Primeau). Kimberley scored two more on either side of a great shot by Bond (assisted by Spencer Bender and Blake Arcuri), and the crowd were on their feet for the final minute of the game as the Dynamiters battled to even the score. As the Riders gained their first win at home for several weeks, the roar of their fans at the final siren was deafening.

Assistant coach James Ouimet was relieved with the result, which followed a series of overtime losses for the team. The performance is what the coaches expect to see more of as the play-offs rapidly approach.

“That was your typical play-off style hockey game; it was a matter of inches and breaks and we battled really hard until the end,” said Ouimet after the match. “They were playing with heart tonight.”

Ouimet also praised the performance of goalie Phoenix Logan-Hill, who stopped 37 out of 40 shots on goal by the Dynamiters. The effort of Gilbert was also a standout as he scored his first ever goal for the Riders, putting the defenceman onto the team’s points board this season

“If I’m putting out 100 per cent every time, and as long as the team is clicking, I’m not too worried about the points,” said Gilbert. “If I can be beneficial (in defence), then that’s great.”

On the notorious reputation of grudges between the two teams, and particularly of Kimberley forward Dallin Wolf, Gilbert was less generous.

“I wouldn’t even worry about him (Wolf), to be honest,” said Gilbert. “But we’re definitely going to be getting energy off this win; we’re excited and our aim right now is just to get points.”

The Ghostriders will play the 100 Mile Wranglers at their first game of the new year on Friday, January 3 before hosting Kimberley again on Saturday, January 4. The puck drops at 7:30 pm both nights.

 

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