By Matt Laurin
The Fernie Ghostriders headed into Thanksgiving on a winning streak, after knocking off the Nelson Leafs and Creston Valley Thunder Cats over the weekend.
The Riders won 5 – 3 in Nelson, before needing overtime to beat the Cats for the second time in two weeks. After a slow start, Fernie (5–3–0–1) is back on top of the Eddie Mountain Division after winning three straight, and with points in each of the last five games.
Recently named the Kootenay Conference player of the month in September, Brendan Burge continues to emerge as one of the premier scoring threats in the KIJHL. Burge scored the game winner in both games, to increase his point total to 20 in nine games.
Playing the Leafs for the first time this season, the Riders trailed after one but scored four times in the second period for a hard earned road win on Friday.
Sporting their limited edition pink jerseys in support of cancer patients, the Riders hosted Creston for the second straight Saturday. The Thunder Cats gave the home side all they could handle, in a physical tilt between the division rivals.
Rookie Jake MacLachlan, who appeared in three games with the Ghostriders last season, scored his first goal as a junior halfway through the opening period.
The Riders dominated puck possession in the early stages, but Creston limited shots to the outside and eventually tied the game on a late first period powerplay.
Momentum swung to the visitors, and Fernie appeared complacent at times in the second period.
A spirited fight between Braeden Monk and Joey Berget seemed to get the home crowd into the game, and the Riders increased their intensity heading into the third period.
Each team registered 26 shots in the final two periods, but goaltending was strong in both nets and the game headed to overtime tied at one.
Burge sealed things for the Riders just under three minutes into extra time, to improve the Riders winning streak to three games.
Fernie will look to improve on the streak this weekend, when they play the Columbia Valley Rockies in a home and home series. Fernie hosts the Rockies Saturday night, and as always, puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
During the month of October, the Ghostriders are participating in the Paint the Rink Pink campaign, to raise money and awareness for cancer. Fans will have the opportunity to get their hands on the limited edition pink jerseys that the Riders are wearing through an ongoing silent auction. For more information go to www.fernieghostriders.com