Looking ahead to first playoff series for Ghostriders

Ghostriders face the Columbia Valley Rockies in round one

Fernie Ghostriders

George Hurlbut

The Ghostriders lost their chance at third place in the standings and a date with Kimberley in the first round of the playoffs when they lost 5-2 in Columbia Valley last Friday night.

That means the Ghostriders will play the first place Rockies this Friday and Saturday in Invermere. The Riders first home games will be Monday and Tuesday February 20-21st.

After January 10th when all the cuts and trades were made and the teams were at their strongest the Ghostriders had a 2-1 record against the Rockies. In other words, they have a reasonable chance against the first place Rockies. But the numbers say something else.

The Rockies are the top scoring team with 218 goals and have +92 goal differential. The Ghostriders scored 163 and have a +25 differential.

The Rockies power play scores on 22.2 per cent of their chances and have a kill rate of 86.3 per cent. The Riders power play is 16.2 per cent and they murder 78.6 per cent of their penalties.

The one stat the Riders are ahead in is shorthanded goals. Fernie has 7 and the Rockies have 6, but allowed 3 against.

Keenan Ingram is the Rockies top scorer with 43 goals and 74 points, he was second in league scoring and should easily win the Rookie of the Year.

Fernie’s Ethan MacDuff finished seventh in league scoring with 65 points and finished his regular season KIJHL career with 103 points. MacDuff also had 7 game winning goals, good for third overall. Kort Kisinger had 47 points and 95 career points.

With 13 goals and 35 points D-man Scott Sinclair finished fourth overall among KIJHL defensemen and first with the Riders.

Around the League

Grand Forks-Nelson and Golden- Fernie each finished with 53 points. But Grand Forks and Golden had more wins so finished ahead. Grand Forks can play either Creston or Beaver Valley and Golden plays Kimberley.

Fernie’s division is the only division where every team had at least 40 points.

With 1350 penalty minutes the Kelowna Chiefs win the coveted KIJHL colouring books, they also finished dead last with 16 points. Clearly in a large city where there are almost as many players as protesters recruiting should be easy, but the owner, Jason Tansem, made himself the GM…what does that tell you.

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