The Fernie Ghostriders had a successful pair of games last weekend, winning both with shutouts.
The first game against the Castlegar Rebels on Nov. 5 saw a 2-0 Fernie victory. The second game on Nov. 6 against the Grand Forks Border Bruins was an even steeper victory for the Ghostriders, ending with a score of 5-0.
Head coach Ty Valin said the team is committed to playing defence, and that’s been their focus since day one.
“And we just keep focusing on it, because you always want to improve your ability to defend. And it helps when your goaltender is kicking the way he’s been kicking.”
Ghostriders goalie McCoy Bidewell, 19, was named as the KIJHL 2nd Star for the period ending Oct. 17, and for the period ending Oct. 31.
He tries not to pay too much attention to such recognitions, though.
“I don’t need no awards. I just focus on what I’m doing to play better and make myself better, and my team around me,” Bidewell said.
Valin said there is no one individual that directly impacts the results of a game. It takes the full lineup.
“I think everybody contributed in different ways,” he said.
The team’s offence also got going over the weekend, Valin said.
“And again, we had committed to playing good, tight defensively, and it payed off [against Grand Forks], because we didn’t spend a whole lot of time at our end of the rink, and the guys are starting to see that success now.”
They also did “a much better job” of playing the full 60 minutes, which they had been struggling with in past weeks.
The Ghostriders put themselves “in a very good situation” following the past couple of wins.
“We have the second best winning percentage in the league. And we gotta just keep building on it. And the players are starting to see the success from playing a defensively-minded game,” Valin said.
The team is in second place in the Eddie Mountain Division, trailing the Columbia Valley Rockies by one point.
Valin said they have less games played than the Rockies (one game less), so they have a better winning percentage than the first place team.
Four points are on the line this weekend as the Ghostriders face two in-division teams: the Kimberley Dynamiters on Nov. 12, and the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Nov. 13.
“It would be nice to get four points this weekend, and maybe have a chance at first place in the division,” Bidewell said.
The team has been working hard over the past month, putting the work in during practices, and working on their systems. The goalie says he thinks they’re “really starting to come together.”
“You know, I think we’re just getting started, and I’m excited to see where we’re going to go.”