Ghostriders play hard against Nelson Leafs

Fernie Coach proud of team’s effort against top KIJHL contender

It was a hard fought game against the Nelson Leafs on Saturday night, where the Fernie Ghostriders lost 6-3.

The Ghostriders have lost their third game in a row on their new home ice in Sparwood, but coach Craig Mohr says it’s only up from here.

He explained that Nelson, one of the strongest teams in the KIJHL, had a goalie that blocked excellent shots from his Fernie team.

“We can play with the big dogs,” said Mohr, adding that his players are beginning to learn that they can hold their own against some of the strongest teams in the league.

Mohr says that while they didn’t get the win they were hoping for, his team played a game to be proud of. “I credit their goalie, I thought their goalie made some really big saves,” said Mohr.

The coach said that his team played a very strong game that evening, coming off of a win against Columbia Valley Rockies in Invermere the previous night. “The work ethic is there,”he said.

Going forward, the coach said that the lessons learned over the past weekend will help mentally prepare the team, so they can go into games with heightened confidence.

“Nothing but positives coming out of the weekend,” said the coach.

The first period started with Nelson scoring three goals against Fernie. Greg Susinski scored an unassisted goal for the Ghostriders in the first period, which garnered him the title of home star in this game.

“I thought all the opportunities in the first, we didn’t capitalize on,” said Team Captain Mitch Titus, explaining that Nelson took advantage of the opportunities they were given.

He said that towards the end of the game, Fernie started picking up those opportunities as well.

“I think we’ve got to bury fast and get a lot more speed in the first period,” said Titus. He feels success against teams in the league hinges on speed, and being faster than the opponents.

“If you can be quicker with those pucks, if you can start the momentum rolling,” he said, adding the hit doesn’t have to be big to kill the opposing player’s momentum.

In the third period, Jace Woodley scored a goal with an intense, energetic assist from Ty Abbott.

“We took over in the third,” said Woodley, crediting Abbott’s hard hit on the boards and sharp skill in lining up the pass. “The third [period] showed how we can play.”

Woodley has recently moved to centre position and says it has given him more room to score goals.

“I think it’s opened up some ice for me a bit and let me handle the puck more,” he said. “It’s really contributed to my offense a bit.”

The Fernie Ghostriders will be playing an away game against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Friday and will be back in Sparwood Saturday to face off against the Golden Rockets.

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