The Fernie Ghostriders took a number of heavy hits in their home game against the Grand Forks Border Bruins.
The team leaned hard against the Ghostriders in the aggressive, contact-heavy game.
Mitch Titus scored the first goal of the game against the Bruins, early in the first period.
Grand Forks quickly caught up, scoring two goals against Fernie in the first period, and continued to dominate, scoring one more goal in the second period.
“We played our hearts out tonight,” said Coach Craig Mohr. “We played really well this weekend and sometimes you don’t gets the W’s.”
Brendan Nemes scored a dramatic final goal for the Ghostriders in the third period, as the puck slid in the net behind the goal in a mad scramble. The crowd erupted as everyone noticed that it went into the net.
“The process and the work ethic comes first, the wins will come second. And they will,” said the coach, explaining that the team was down a few players throughout the weekend. Keelan Saworski was out of the game with an injury during the warm up and a couple of players were missing in the previous game on Friday against Kimberley.
“The guys just didn’t bat an eye,” said Mohr. “That’s a game where you do everything right, you outplay the other team, and you just don’t win.”
He urged his team not to be disappointed by the loss and to continue playing with that same fierceness.
“It was a really intense game playing against my former team,” said Grayson Neufeld, a defenceman for the Ghostriders.
“I like to play really physical, it keeps guys on their toes,” he said. “When they see you coming, they’re getting rid of the puck right away.”
Eric Welford was hit in the face by a high stick during the second period, losing bits of teeth on the ice.
With his face bloodied, he went back to the bench and spit pieces from five chipped teeth into his glove.
“I wasn’t sure what was going on,” said Welford, speaking after the game with his bottom lip taped up. “I caught some teeth in my glove.”
Welford went back on the ice in the third period.
“I can’t leave my team hanging,” he said, noting that they only had five defencemen to begin with in the game, and could’t afford to only have four.
“That’s the kind of character that this group is showing right now,” said Mohr. “It would have been easy to mail that one in tonight…and they didn’t.”
Mohr says that the Border Bruins goalie stopped some incredible shots from the Ghostriders that evening.
“Sometimes a real hard fought loss is better than a lazy win,” he said.
The Ghostriders will be in Creston Friday night to play against the Thunder Cats and back in Sparwood Saturday to face off against the Golden Rockets.