The Ghostriders have accelerated through their second home win in a row and aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.
The Spokane Braves were faced with a long bus ride home after losing 6-0 to Fernie on Saturday. The Riders also won their next game the following night, away in Golden. Now with a total of 31 points, the Ghostriders are sitting eighth out of twenty KIJHL teams.
Gavin Lawrie was first to put one away for the home team, triggering the annual Teddy Bear Toss. Jordon Kromm was next to score, followed by four more goals in the second period by new recruit, Simon Bergsagel (two), Jordon Kromm and Brendan Nemes.
Christmas came early for the Ghostriders this year. Simon Bergsagel was welcomed onto the team last week, hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark. Previously Bergsagel played for pro club, the Gentofte Stars.
Saturday marked the 19-year-old’s first game with his new team, in which he scored two goals and three assists for the home team.
The sport spans around the globe, but sometimes the world of hockey can be very small. Previously, Bergsagel played Peewee with Tristan Downe in Calgary. Bergsagel first came to Canada in 2008, stayed for four years, playing two years of Atom and two years of Peewee.
During his four years in Canada, Bergsagel came to Fernie every season to ski. Even after he returned to Denmark he always knew he wanted to eventually come back. Bergsagel had heard about the great atmosphere in Fernie, so he decided to return to Canada and spend at least a season playing for the Riders. So far his experience with the new team has been great.
“It’s amazing, the team, the boys, the coaches, everything… it’s like being on a real team. It’s really good,” he said.
“I’m really happy that I chose to come here.”
Comparing the pace of the KIJHL to Gentofte Stars, Bergsagel says it’s slightly slower, but was glad to see guys always going hard and chasing down the puck.
“Back home it’s a bigger ice, so it’s a bit more skating and higher speed,” he said. “I’m used to playing with bigger guys, older guys, so it’s a bit different but it’s really fun.”
Head Coach Jeff Wagner was excited to see Bergsagel join on with the Ghostriders.
“He’s just a good teammate,” said Wagner. “He does everything right on the ice, but off the ice he’s (speaking) words of encouragement, pumping the guys up, really a positive influence for the team.”
“We’re fortunate to have him.”
This is the first time in a long time that the Ghostriders have scored six goals in a game. Coach Wagner said he believed the difference maker was their top line.
“I thought they did a really good job of moving the puck, creating odd-man rushes, putting good quality shots on net,” he said.
In addition he said that the team succeeded in creating open spaces, and that the physical presence of Brendan Nemes helped them do so. The open space created by the defensive line allowed for speedier players such as Bergsagel and Kromm to sneak through and put points on the board.
The Ghostriders are home Friday, December 14 to take on the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.