As the Ghostriders have been surviving their injury-plagued season, they have relied on some key players for extra help. Both regular goalies, Brandon Butler and Jeff Orser, suffered injuries, causing head coach and general manager, Craig Mohr, to call up help from an affiliate team. That’s when Brandon Youngson joined the Ghostriders.
Youngson plays for the Trail Smoke Eaters midget team. Under KIJHL rules, Youngson can play up to 10 games with the Ghostriders, and has made an impact in the short time he has spent with the team.
He played three games over two weeks and won all three games.
“They were really welcoming to me, and they just really let me into the team. It was easy for them to play in front of me because they play as a team and for the team,” Youngson said of playing with the Ghostriders.
Youngson tried out for the Ghostriders earlier this year and played in an exhibition game against the Revelstoke Grizzlies, stopping 38 of 39 shots. His family travelled to Fernie to support him during the Ghostriders’ camp, including his father and his younger brother, who was proudly wearing his Ghostriders’ sweatshirt.
His performance against the Grizzlies earlier this month was enough to impress Mohr again.
“It shouldn’t be a surprise because he had a great camp, played very well in the exhibition and the only reason he wasn’t here is because we have Butler and Orser or else he would have been on our team,” said Mohr after the Oct. 3 game against the Revelstoke Grizzlies.
“To have a 17 year old affiliate goalie that can come in and play like he did tonight – good for him, it’s such a good story. He gets his first win in our barn. I think the guys around him were more excited than he was.”
Youngson has strong ties to the Ghostriders, as his father Brian Youngson played defense for the Ghostriders in the 1999/2000 seasons. Brian Youngson also worked as the assistant coach of the team from 2004 to 2006.
“My dad played there when they were Junior A, and that made me really want to play there,” said Youngson. “They’re my team for Junior B for sure.”
He cited that there is no other Junior B team that he would want to play for, even one closer to Trail.
Youngson plans to continue playing in the Midget league for this season and try out for the Ghostriders next season.
Because of his 3-0 record in net, Youngson currently leads the league for goaltending, which is an impressive feat for an affiliate goalie to accomplish.
With his impressive record playing for the Ghostriders and his family ties to the team, he will be one to watch for in future seasons.