By George Hurlburt.
The Ghostriders lost 4-1 in a gong show hosted by the Kimberley Dynamiters last Friday night. Lots of fights, cheap shots and suspensions by both sides but the Riders dished out some extra ones and earned five of the seven suspensions. If it proved anything it proved that if they want to win the division again for the seventh year in a row, the Rider brass will have to make changes. The teams battle again on December 29 and 30 for some holiday spirit, but the spirit could be from the movie “The Exorcist.” Maybe bring a cross, just to be safe.
Grand Forks’ Coach/GM Brent Batten was gassed after a 0-21 start, that’s harsh, with 31 games left he could have easily won a game. Bruins Assistant Coach Matt Zamec is now the head guy. Last year at 8-41-1 the Bruins removed the successful (at least by their standards) Jesse Dorrans. Yeah I wanna coach in Grand Forks.
In Castlegar Coach/GM Steve Junker piped his (27-9) goalie Alex Ross out to the 8-16 Summerland Steam. Rider fans may remember that it was Junker who traded Andrew Walton to Fernie last year leaving Ross with Walton’s #1 spot. This year Junker made a three way trade that sees the Rebels get Jordan Gluck (6-11) from the Osoyoos Coyotes. Some GM may end up in a leg hold trap if this deal doesn’t work out.
The 22-2-2 Kamloops Storm recently graduated all-star goalie Lyndon Stanwood to the Jr. “A” Trail Smoke Eaters. GM Barry Dewar had been very vocal in the papers saying Stanwood was too good for the KIJHL so he got his wish. Dewar also lost defenseman Shane Poulsen to the 3-16-1 Smoke Eaters earlier this year as well. The swami sees a little white ball when the regular season ends for these Trail guys.
And finally, Austin Evans was hit with a vicious cheap shot by Rockies forward Todd Sykes last Thursday. Sykes ran the unsuspecting Evans hard into the boards when the puck wasn’t anywhere near him and only got a minor penalty. So if dangerous hits like that on unsuspecting players is only a minor, you need to keep fighting in the game. Right about now 22 Kimberley bobble head dolls are on the dash bobbing their heads up and down in agreement, and Oli Dickson and coach Roman Vopat are driving the bus.