The Ghostriders played two games against their divisional rivals this weekend, and lost both games by one goal.
On Friday, the Ghostriders hosted their biggest rival and current division leader the Kimberley Dynamiters. It was the first time the two teams played against each other all year.
The Ghostriders played catch up most of the game, never gaining the edge, but they never let the Nitros too far ahead. The end result was a 4-3 win for the Nitros, who continued their multi-game winning streak.
“It was a good game. The guys played hard, they battled. We made a few costly mistakes that really cost us some goals. But mistakes will happen and the effort was there the whole game. We saw some great things; some other guys stepped up today that got some points and some goals. There was a lot of positive,” said Pascal Morency, assistant coach of the Ghostriders.
Ryan Teslak, Taylor Sincennes and Evan Reid scored the three goals for the Ghostriders. The Ghostriders have been looking to enhance scoring opportunities for secondary lines. Morency said the Ghostriders performance against Kimberley is a good sign of that.
“Normally most of our goals come from the first line,” he said. “That just tells us that we were able to produce points other ways. That was good to see.”
There wasn’t much rest between games, as the Ghostriders traveled to Invermere to face Columbia Valley on Saturday night. Games in Invermere have been a point of contention for the Ghostriders, as they have been unable to win in their arena yet this season.
The Ghostriders came back from a 4-1 deficit to tie the game before Columbia Valley scored the winning goal with less than a second left in regulation time.
“They scored to win with literally not even a second on the clock. It was tough. The boys played so hard,” said Head Coach Craig Mohr. “It was kind of heartbreaking and gut wrenching but they played so hard. It was tough not even to get a point.”
Even with the two defeats, Mohr is optimistic that the games show good improvements and areas to focus on for better outcomes in future games.
“I think Pascal said it best, the process sometimes is more important to the outcome, and how hard we played being so short-handed is easily something we can build off of.”
The Ghostriders were shorthanded, with only 13 skaters for Saturday night’s game. Captain Cole Keebler had to sit out after a slash injured him. Even with that, Mohr said that the team was in high spirits.
“Our job was to try and keep them positive and say, look at what you did, you were down, you had 13 skaters, and you came back. Let’s build off of that, let’s not worry about the results so much. We can work off of how hard you guys played and how much character you showed.”
The Ghostriders have picked up some new players, including Brandon Breithaupt and Nolan Legacy, and Mohr is looking at the possibility of using affiliate players to fill out the lineup for the next three games.
The Ghostriders hosted the Golden Rockets on Tuesday night, however the results were past press deadline. They face Columbia Valley on Friday and the Kamloops Storm on Saturday night. Game time for both games is 7:30 p.m, and all three games are at the Fernie Memorial Arena.