As the Ghostriders’ regular season is in it’s final stages, the team seems to have lost a bit of energy, and it was apparent in their last two games.
The team played three games over the weekend, and started off strong with a win against the Columbia Valley Rockies, who they are neck and neck with in the standings. While Ghostriders sat in the penalty box for much of the game – Alex Cheveldave spent nine minutes in the box in his first game back in months – they didn’t let that deter them. Mitch Titus scored a shorthanded goal, which seemed to be the boost the team needed.
“It was nice to get that going – first shorthanded goal of the season. We are short on penalty killers right now, there are a lot of guys out right now, so I had to step up,” said Titus after the game. “Actually everyone had to step up, I’ll be honest with you.”
The Ghostriders won 3-2 but unfortunately could not keep the momentum for the rest of the weekend. On Saturday, the team travelled to Kimberley to face the division leaders and archrival, the Kimberley Dynamiters. The Ghostriders were outshot 40-13, and head coach Craig Mohr credited goalie Brandon Butler only letting three goals get past him.
“I’ve always said with this group, if we played hard, we are going to be okay with that. We didn’t have any energy. We were flat in Kimberley and you come out flat to the team that is leading your league and one of the best in the province, you’re going to get dominated, and we did,” said Mohr.
With a final score of 3-1 in Kimberley, Mohr is concerned about the team’s ability to score goals.
“If you’re only going to score one goal in games, it’s going to be hard to win. That is the one thing we have to do – we have to start generating more goals. You can’t score one and win hockey games in this league. You’ve got to generate more and we have the bodies to do it,” he said.
The team hosted the Golden Rockets on Sunday night, who are placed last in the Eddie Mountain Division. Despite the fact that there is no chance for the Rockets to make the playoffs, they played hard and won their fifth game of the season.
“It’s a hard one. It’s a team that, credit to them, they are still playing hard even with their record and with only 14 skaters tonight. We had no excuse of being sick or injured or anything like that. We just got beat by a team that had less bodies than we did,” said Mohr. “We’ve got to re-group.”
The Ghostriders worked hard in the second and third periods to get scoring chances, but were unable to catch the Rockets. An empty net goal in the last minute of the third sealed the game, with a final score of 3-1.
With two games left in the regular season, Mohr maintains that they can’t panic. The team is taking some time away from the rink to re-group and energize before the playoffs, something that centre Ty Carron is looking forward to.
“It’s going to be an experience,” said Carron. “Once all of our guys get back here from the flu and all of the injuries we are going to have a pretty good team going into the playoffs. It will be nice for everyone to finally get back into the line up.”
The Ghostriders play their last away game against the Beaver Valley Nighthawks on Friday before hosting the Kimberley Dynamiters on Saturday, which will be played in the Sparwood Arena. As always, the puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m.