A stunning defeat of the Golden Rockets served as the Fernie Ghostriders’ last home game of 2018.
The Riders put six goals away while denying the Rockets any glory at Fernie Memorial Arena on December 21.
Tempers flared as play got increasingly rougher with Golden’s Ryan Taylor sent off after a tussle with Fernie’s Brendan Nemes.
Nemes lost his helmet in what Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner described as a “one man fight”, resulting in a game misconduct for Taylor.
“I think there’s some chippiness on both ends and when that happens, sometimes one team escalates to a point that’s past the boundaries of the rules I guess you could say,” said Wagner after the game.
“We got a five minute power play in this game and we took advantage of it.”
Nemes notched two goals as did Jordon Kromm, with Keelan Saworski and Greg Susinski putting the Riders’ remaining points on the board.
Although there was plenty of goal scoring, Wagner said the real standout was defense.
“We played really good defensive hockey tonight, which we haven’t done in the past few games,” he said.
“We talked about taking care of our own end before getting up on offense and I thought we had really good layers of support all over the ice, and it helped us in our transition game and ultimately got us the win.”
The Ghostriders took a short break over Christmas before returning to the ice Boxing Day to prepare for the KIJHL College Showcase in Kamloops.
They played two games under the watchful eyes of talent scouts, going down 1-3 to the Sicamous Eagles on December 28 then defeating the Summerland Steam 4-2 the following night.
“It’s a good event for our players to get exposure and get looked at for the next level,” said Wagner of the College Showcase.
The Riders were due to ring in the New Year with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats in Creston.
Their first game of 2019 will take place at home against the Kimberley Dynamiters on Friday, January 4.
“We’re excited, I’ve only heard of the Kimberley-Fernie games around this time of year,” said Wagner. “I’ve experienced one of them here already this year and it was fantastic, the atmosphere was insane and we fed off the emotion of the crowd and played a really good game, so we’re excited to see what kind of result we can get.”
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.