The Fernie Ghostriders have returned, as the team has shifted back to their work ethic that seemed to be lacking since their Christmas break. While the team has showed spurts of energy and speed over the past few home games, Friday’s game against the Nelson Leafs had the team put in a full three periods of work.
“Sixty minutes, that’s what you stress for as a coach. Credit to the players, we have been on them the past couple weeks and pushing them hard. It’s nice to see them come out and have some fun again and at the end of the day that’s what it is all about,” said Craig Mohr, head coach and general manager of the Fernie Ghostriders.
The team had their biggest win of the New Year with a 5-2 win. Mohr hopes that the squad can keep this energy and play style up and gain momentum.
“This is the start of the snowball we need. That was the best we have played in a while,” he said.
The coach believes that the beginning of games is where the team needed to focus for the wins.
“We have stressed the starts for the last week and a half to the guys. Trying to get into the game early and get the crowd into it early. We did that [against Nelson],” said Mohr.
The team has rallied together through practices and meetings over the last week.
“We practiced really well all week, we had that feeling as coaches that these guys are going to get [that work ethic] again,” said Mohr. “We had a team meeting where we talked about everyone’s responsibilities and their role in the team is and you could tell the team was feeling good.”
Brandon Butler kept pucks out of the net for the Ghostriders and helped earn the team two points in the standings for the win.
“It feels pretty great, we got the win and that’s what matters,” said Butler. “It is my second year with the team and I have not looked back. I am 19 now and hope to stick around here if Mohr lets me come back.”
The goaltender believes that his job is about keeping his head in the game and to stay calm.
“[It’s about] staying focused, not letting them get under my skin. When they scored I just had to shake it off and that’s just how it goes,” said Butler.
Mitch Titus, a center man for the team believes that the Ghostriders club and its fans are unparalleled in the KIJHL.
“I have been with a few other teams and nothing compares to this team. It’s everything, the fans are incredible and it is a really good organization,” said Titus
Due to this the center man hopes to continue playing for the Ghostriders next season.
“I came to the team last year around new years, as an affiliate player and I came in full time this year. I’m 18 now and I hope to stick around for two more years,” said Titus.
He loves the sport and after playing in the KIJHL he hopes to go to keep playing while getting an education.
“I hope to go to college or university after. I’d like to stay in Canada, but anywhere is good to me, wherever I can play hockey,” said Titus.
Between Friday’s game against Nelson and the next home game on Jan. 29, the Ghostriders will have three away games against Golden, Spokane and Grand Forks. The next Ghostrider home game will be against the Columbia Valley Rockies. Game time is set for 7:30.