Ghostrider fans certainly had plenty to cheer about during Friday night’s home game against the Grand Forks Border Bruins.
The first period got off to a bit of a slow start, with no goals and the teams looking fairly evenly paced. However, as soon as the Riders hit the ice in the second period, it was a completely different game of hockey.
The goals started pouring in almost faster than the crowd could celebrate them. The rowdy crowd of Ghostrider fans would jump to their feet, celebrating another Rider goal and before they could sit down again, the Riders had another one in the net.
At the end of the second period, the Riders were up 7-1. That in itself would have been an impressive score, especially considering the last time the Border Bruins and the Ghostriders faced off, the score was tied up at 4-4. However, the Ghostriders kicked it into an even higher gear for the third period, sending four more pucks flying solidly into the back of the net.
“We came into the game tonight with a good mindset and played a really strong game,” said head coach Jeff Wagner. “It was a great team victory for us. I thought up and down the line up, everyone contributed. We saw guys like Levi Young and Dylan Nevil hit the score sheet. I know for those two guys, it was a sense of relief to contribute offensively and it gives them confidence going into tomorrow and into the playoffs. We put up 11 goals and you can’t do that against anyone in this league unless everyone is geared up, and we were tonight.”
The Border Bruins managed to get one more goal, bringing the final score to 11-2 at the end of the third period. This huge win for the second last game of the regular season no doubt had the Ghostriders riding a high as they went into Saturday night’s game against the Columbia Valley Rockies.
“You never expect to win by that sort of score but when it happens it’s pretty special and to do it in front of our home fans is even better,” Wagner said while reflecting on the huge score spread. “We have a vision for this weekend to get four points and lock up a third place in the overall league standings and we gave ourselves a chance to do that this evening.”
Even better than a third place finish in the regular season, thanks to Friday night’s score sheet and another win agains Columbia Valley on Saturday night, the Ghostriders head into the playoffs in second place, 12 points behind the first place team, the Kimberley Dynamiters.