Ghostriders take 2-1 series lead with home win over Rockies

Barry Coulter and George Hurlbut

A four-goal outburst in the second and third periods resulted in the Fernie Ghostriders taking a 2-1 lead in the best of seven playoff series with the Columbia Valley Rockies, Monday, Feb. 20.

The series moved to Fernie for Monday’s Game 3, after a split in the first two games in Invermere.

The first two games were in Invermere, the Ghostriders won 2-1 in overtime on Friday then lost 4-2 Saturday night.

After a scoreless first period Monday at Fernie Memorial Arena, the Rockies opened the scoring with Kobe Mason’s second goal of the playoffs — on the power play at 2:52 of the second frame.

But then Fernie unleashed its offense, putting the puck past Rockies’ goaltender Brett Sweet for four unanswered goals (twice on the powerplay). Liam Fitzgerald (his second of the playoffs) and Ethan MacDuff (his first) scored in the second period. Jarod Sigouin (his first) scored for Fernie just 25 seconds into the third period, and Andrew Karam (his first) made it 4-1 Ghostriders three minutes later, on the power play.

Lucas De La Salle got Columbia Valley closer at the midway mark of the third, but Kort Kisinger’s empty net goal sealed the deal. .

The shots on goal were plentiful and even — Fernie got 35 on net, and Columbia Valley put 36 on Ghostriders goalie Aiden Kruhlak.

Game 4 was scheduled for Tuesday night at Fernie Memorial Arena. Game five will be in Invermere on Friday and game six here in Fernie on Saturday.

So far these games have featured several big hits and a few breakaways by both teams. Game one was a very tight checking game that favoured the Ghostriders but on Saturday it opened up a bit, not a track meet or anything, but a little more freewheeling and that favoured the high scoring Rockies.

On Friday night in Invermere the Ghostriders pretty much had to circle the wagons in the first period and try to keep the Rockies to the outside and limit their good scoring chances.

The Rockies Reed Sparrow scored the only goal in the first and they outshot Fernie 17-2.

In the second the Riders found their legs and had an 8-7 advantage in shots but neither team scored.

In the third period Fernie outshot the Rockies 11-9 but couldn’t score until they pulled goaltender Aiden Kruhlak for the extra attacker and with 2:06 left on the clock Liam Fitzgerald (Kisinger- Fournier) finally tied the game at one each.

In the overtime the Riders took a penalty but Aiden Kruhlak was strong in the net and they killed it off. Then the Rockies took a penalty but they didn’t kill it off and Jack Lambert scored on the power play giving the Riders a 2-1 OT win

Goalies Aiden Kruhlak and Ewan McDevitt were the game stars.

On Saturday the Rockies scored two in the first (Kobe Mason, Jake Measel) and two in the second (Lucas De La Salle, Keenan Ingram).

Fernie’s goals were from Jack Lambert (Fitzgerald- Kennedy) in the first and Scott Sinclair in the third. The shots were 44-23 Rockies.

Ewan McDevitt and Ghostriders Aiden Kruhlak were the goalies Saturday.

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