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Fernie Ghostriders crowned Kootenay Conference Champions

Ghostriders defeat Beaver Valley Nitehawks in game six to head to Teck Cup Finals
The Ghostriders shake hands with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks players following a hard-fought series. Stephan Piccolo photo.

The Fernie Ghostriders, having dispatched of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks four games to two in round three, have been crowned Kootenay Conference Champions and are headed to the Teck Cup Finals.

“The boys have been working hard, keeping their composure through adversity,” said team president Barb Anderson. “Super proud of each and every player. The staff have been supportive and working very hard behind the scenes.”

The Riders got off to a hot start in round three, winning their first three games, with the first two being played on Beaver Valley’s ice. Back in Fernie for games three and four and taking the win in the third, Fernie looked poised to sweep the series.

READ MORE: Ghostriders start hot in round three with two wins over Beaver Valley

The Nitehawks, however, proved they deserved to be in the fight for the Kootenay Conference title, forcing games three and four to be decided in overtime and coming out victorious in game four, instilling new life into the series.

They then took another narrow win back in Beaver Valley on Friday, Mar. 29 prolonging the third round even further.

Game six was a different story. After a scoreless first period the Ghostriders surged to life late in the second, with goals from Kyler Watson and and Coden Fournier, their fifth and sixth post-season goals, respectively.

“We played a full 60 minutes, that was our goal going into the game,” Watson said in an interview on the team’s website.

“I thought we achieved that, we played well and everyone was going. We put ourselves in a great spot and are super excited to move on. I think the fans behind us helped a lot we really thrive off them being there and it makes it super fun for us to play in front of good crowds every night.”

Riley Enns scored the third goal of the game just over two minutes into the third period and would then get the assit for Kyler Watson’s second of the night, after potting one on the Nitehawks’ empty net with three minutes left on the clock.

Enns performance was instrumental to his team’s victory, having also assisted Watson’s first goal. Fernie goaltender Nick Kunyk was also pivotal in guiding his team to the win, shutting out Beaver Valley with 26 saves. Kunyk now has a stellar playoff record of 8-1 and a 9.49 save percentage.

Backup goalie Levi Hall is currently injured, so the team was able to acquire Ethan Lawcynski from the Castlegar Rebels to be backup until Hall’s recovered.

The Ghostriders now await the results between defending Cyclone Taylor champs Revelstoke Grizzlies and the Princeton Posse, who were runners up in the Teck Cup finals last year. Their series is to be decided in Game 7 on Monday, Apr. 1 in the Princeton and District Arena.

About the Author: Paul Rodgers

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