The Fernie Ghostriders sliced home ice at their third exhibition game played against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Oct. 31, finishing off the match with a final score of four-all.
Despite the empty stands, both teams came firing out of the gates, each scoring early goals. With ten seconds left of the first period, the Riders rallied together to sink another puck, bringing the score to 2-1.
“I thought the first half of the game was really good – we executed the structure that we’ve been harping on the players all week,” said head coach, Jeff Wagner.
The Riders maintained their lead in the second period, with both teams scoring another goal, bringing the overall score to 4-3 for Fernie.
Both teams fought hard in the third period, with the Thunder Cats scoring one more point and throwing the game into overtime. Following five minutes of overtime, the game finished with a 4-4 tie.
“Some bad habits crept into our game – we have a young team this year,” said Wagner.
“When things are going the right way, the guys are confident and excited, but let in a goal or two and then they start doubting themselves, going back to what they know from their minor hockey days.”
Regardless of the outcome, Wagner is proud of the boys for their resilience, and looks forward to watching them progress into the season.
“It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve for our group, but overall I thought the effort was there, and I think that once we have a little bit more belief in the structure and the systems that we play, we’ll see a really positive response.”
Following the match, Wagner praised Hayden Sotheran for scoring the team two of their four goals. Wagner also commended Maverik Skeans for playing a strong game.
“It was (Maverik’s) first game with us, so I thought he did a really good job of adjusting to the game and getting accustomed to playing alongside the other boys.”
Next for the Riders is their fourth exhibition game against the Kimberly Dynamiters on Nov. 6. Following their final exhibition game, played at home against Creston on Nov. 7, the team will be kicking off their regular season.