After an injury-plagued season, the Ghostriders had their final stand on Feb. 29 against their rivals, the Kimberley Dynamiters. After playing two do-or-die games, the team lost 4-2 in the fifth game of the playoff series. Despite a no-goal call late in the first period, Craig Mohr, Head Coach and General Manager of the Fernie Ghostriders, believes the team should hold their heads high.
“We played our hearts out. We got a bit of a tough call against us at the end of the first period. We scored a goal that we all thought was in before the buzzer went, but the officials thought different so it was a tough pill to swallow,” said Mohr. “That let them get up on us on the scoreboard, but the guys never quit, we had opportunities to tie the game up but we just fell short. Definitely not from a lack of effort, that is for sure.”
The “puck luck” seemed to be against the Ghostriders throughout the series.
“I think someone said. ‘if you didn’t have bad luck you’d have no luck at all.’ And I do not want to take anything away from Kimberley, they are a heck of a team, but they definitely had some puck luck going their way,” said Mohr. “For us, we had to scratch, claw, bite, do whatever we could to try to find goals. At the end, we just couldn’t pull through.”
Despite a disappointing end, the bandaged, bruised and broken players put all their energy into the games.
“They are disappointed, you are always disappointed when you get knocked out. When you look around and see all the ice bags going around the dressing room and see the exhaustion in them, as a coach you are proud of your team when your guys are that tired and beat up,” said Mohr. “We had Mack Differenz playing with barely any teeth left in his mouth, Coleton Dawson coming back and playing a week after having surgery and having three screws put in his orbital bone and [Brandon] Butler playing with a broken foot all year. You do not want to lose focus on the whole process.
Mohr emphasized the team’s achievement despite their injuries.
“Looking at what these players have accomplished after what they have gone through all year I can’t say it enough, I am proud of them,” said Mohr.
The coach was very grateful for the team and their coaching flexibility over the season.
“My heart goes out to them, they left it all on the table,” said Mohr.
Kimberley moves on to face the Creston Valley Thundercats in the second round. Creston swept their series 4-0 against the Columbia Valley Rockies.
“I have no idea how far Kimberley will go. I think the next series will be a good one. We did some major damage to Kimberley, they are a pretty beat up hockey team. Maybe that will help Creston. It will be a good series,” said Mohr.