After dropping a 6 – 4 decision to Kamloops at home on Friday, the Fernie Ghostriders got back on track with a dominant road win in Golden on Saturday night. The 4 – 1 win over the hometown Rockets maintains Fernie’s position on top of the Eddie Mountain Division heading into a weekend that features three games in as many nights.
The Storm ended the Riders four game winning streak, in a game where the home team simply took too many undisciplined penalties. Kamloops went 2 for 9 on the powerplay, and it proved to be the difference between the two division leaders.
Fernie played most of the game with a short bench after Brendon Magnone and Zach Traverse were ejected for separate incidents. They also lost forward Josh McSkimming, when the Fernie native collided with a teammate partway through the first period. He did not travel with the team to Golden and is expected to be re-evaluated before the weekend.
The coaching staff likely had some strong words with their squad after the loss, because the Riders put forth a physical but disciplined performance on Saturday night. No penalties and a strong forecheck allowed Fernie to jump on top of a three goal lead by the end of the second period. The Riders tallied twice on the powerplay and held a 32 – 13 edge in shots at the end of 40 minutes. Golden broke Kylar Stern’s shutout bid halfway through the final frame, but the Fernie goaltender was solid turning away 27 of 28 shots for his third win of the season.
Head Coach Will Verner was impressed with his team’s strong effort after the loss.
“We were lousy on Friday night. We ran around too much and our discipline cost us. Saturday we got back to playing our game. We didn’t take a penalty through two periods and our effort was much better.”
In other news, the Ghostriders made a roster move this week, acquiring forward Reto Stiz from Columbia Valley for future considerations. He is expected to make his debut this weekend.
Fernie hosts the Castlegar Rebels on Friday night, in the first game of a home and home series. They travel to Grand Forks on Sunday for an afternoon visit against the Border Bruins.
By Matt Laurin