The Ghostriders won 3-2 in Kimberley on Friday night. The boys had decent territorial advantage for a lot of the game but they could only manage three goals. Goaltender Chris Solecki was the first star and continues to play well early in the season. On Saturday at home the score was reversed and the Riders lost 3-2 to the Nitros. The Ghostriders had some pretty good chances to tie the game late, but couldn’t execute. With a younger team combined with the usual start of the season all over the place play, the game at times was hard to watch. It will get much better in the next few weeks. Dane Carlson and Derek Georgopoulos both left the game with injuries and Carlson may be out long term. Georgopoulos we’re not sure about but he has some good speed and skill and was desperately needed when the Riders were looking for the tying goal on Saturday. Derek had the game winner on Friday and is definitely a Rider bright spot. The goal of the game was the Nitro’s third goal, a great tip in by Colton Vannucci.
The Riders have had several injuries lately so they played AP Matt McArthur and Jake MacLachlan last weekend. McArthur is 16 and last I heard will play in Cranbrook this year while MacLachlan who is only 14 (turns 15 in December) will attend the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna. This kid already skates at a KIJHL level as a 14 year old; just wait till he finishes a season at the POE. Little wonder Red Deer picked him in the Bantam Draft.
Defenseman Zach Traverse should be in the line-up next weekend. Zach played two full seasons in Fernie before moving to the Sanich Braves last season because of school. Zach is a big strong 6’ 200 pound born and raised Valley boy. In his last season with the Riders he had 20 points in 43 games to go along with an unfriendly 179 PIM.
Along with Jeff Zmurchyk, the Riders’ assistant coach Shawn Potyuk has also agreed to coach for another year with the Ghostriders. This will be Shawn’s eighth season with the club. The former Vernon Laker (they’re the Vipers now) won a Centennial Cup (It’s called the Royal Bank Cup now) back in 1991 and still has the shot to prove it.