by Sara Moulton
The Ghostriders enjoyed another great win at home last Friday, thrashing the Golden Rockets, five goals to one. With October designated as ‘Cancer Month’, spectators were excited to see the players skate out in their specially-made pink jerseys, which will be auctioned off at the end of the month to raise money for the ‘Fernie Friends for Friends’ program.
The first period was a goldmine for the home side, as Joel Burgess (assisted by Aaron Neufeld), Spencer Bender (unassisted) and Colby Burns (assisted by Neufeld and Austin Hirano) dominated the arena and delivered goals for their team. The Rockets were unable to keep up with the increasingly cohesive Ghostriders, only managing to slip one goal past the ever-watchful eyes of goalie Austin Wells.
With minimal penalties to hold them back, the home team found the remainder of the game was theirs for the taking. Neufeld secured his second goal for the night near the end of the second period (assisted by Ben Primeau and Travis Thomsen), while Aaron Neufeld, with the help of Aidan Geiger and debutant Anthony Gilbert, successfully took advantage of a power play in the third to cement the Rider’s victory.
Speaking after the game, Wells and Bender acknowledged the team’s progress since the start of the season. Both relocating from Calgary to play for the Ghostriders, the two rookies have been settling in to their new team through activities both on and off the ice.
“We practise and train every day, but we also find time to hang out together and have fun”, explained Wells. “In my first home game, I was pretty nervous. I felt a lot more comfortable today, and I think with more experience, we’re going to get even more comfortable”.
They are also quick to credit the whole team for their recent success and are modest about their impressive personal performances.
“It’s good, but it’s definitely a team effort”, says Wells. “I’m pretty sure Phoenix [Logan-Hill] is playing tomorrow [against Golden, in Golden], and when he does I’m sure it’ll be a similar result”.
“There’s a lot of team activities… we’ve been together as a team, all day, every day, and it’s been bringing everyone together a lot”, says Bender.
Their hard work is definitely paying off, with Bender scoring two goals this game and Wells as goalkeeper for three of their four victorious matches this season.
Club President Barb Anderson is already proud of the attitudes shown by this year’s team, especially in their enthusiasm for the various charity and community activities. Their embracing of the pink jerseys in support of breast cancer research is just one example of their commitment to great causes.
“It’s another example of that community spirit, it’s pretty important and we’re always trying to come around and give back”, says Anderson. “We’ll be auctioning the jerseys off at the end of the month and all the dollars will go to ‘Fernie Friends for Friends’. It’ll be great; we bought a few extra jerseys this time because there were fans that missed out getting some last year”.
It is hoped that this year’s silent auction will exceed last year’s effort of $3,500. Bids can be made by email or text message throughout the month of October, with full details provided on the suitably pink poster.
The Ghostriders will host Creston 7.30 pm on Friday, 11 October at the Fernie Memorial Arena.