Fernie leaves KIJHL leaders howling in OT

The Fernie Ghostriders' winning streak continued with two more victories last weekend.

Josh McCulloch and fellow Ghostriders celebrate their 4-3 overtime win against the Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday

Josh McCulloch and fellow Ghostriders celebrate their 4-3 overtime win against the Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday

By Sara MoultonFree Press Staff

It was another successful weekend at the Fernie Memorial Arena as the Ghostriders smashed the Golden Rockets 7-2 before a nail-biting 4-3 overtime win against the league-leading Osoyoos Coyotes.

The Riders came out swinging in Friday’s grudge match against the Rockets with four goals in the first period, courtesy of Tayler Sincennes (assisted by Kyle Haugo and Dylan Robertson), Derek Georgopoulos (Joel Burgess and Cavin Tilsley), Evan Reid (Justin Peers) and Sam Plaquin.

Things never got better for the Rockets as Cole Keebler (Jason Yan and Peers), Burgess (Georgopoulos and Peers) and Josh McCulloch (Burgess and Peers) continued the assault on net throughout the second and third periods, for an end result of only two Golden goals compared to Fernie’s seven.

The following night, a much-anticipated meeting between the league-leading Coyotes drew a decent crowd despite the weather and fans were certainly not disappointed. Osoyoos set the tone with two unanswered goals in the first period, before Yan (from Peers) and Burgess (from Tyler Rebelato) delivered two for the Riders in the second. After one more for the visitors, Aaron Neufeld tied the game at 3-3 in the third and sent the game into overtime.

After a fruitless first period of overtime, the Coyotes were called for head contact and McCulloch was given an opportunity to end the game with a penalty shot. With the crowd on their feet, the puck hit the net and the Riders earned the win. By the end of the game, the continued strong performance of goalie Jeff Orser had held the Coyotes back from over 34 shots on goal throughout the night.

Speaking after Saturday’s win, McCulloch highlighted the strength of the Fernie squad as the season heats up.

“We came into the weekend as the most focused team out of anyone … we wanted two big wins and to have a good start on next week’s game against Kimberley,” explained McCulloch.

“I was a little bit nervous, but it was a big opportunity for the team to win and it felt unreal,” he added, regarding his winning penalty shot.

Justin PeersJustin Peers

Another star of the weekend was Peers, who accumulated five assists in two games after two weeks in the stands due to injury. Crediting his teammates for their hard work, the 18-year-old rookie was buzzing with excitement after the wins.

“It was tough sitting out in the crowd, but I was really eager to get back in the lineup and try to do whatever I can,” said Peers.

He continued, “Tonight had two of the best teams in the league battling it out, and we came out with the win.”

Don’t miss this Friday night’s game against division rivals Kimberley or the special Sunday match against the Princeton Posse. The puck drops at the Fernie Memorial Arena at 7:30 p.m. on both nights.