By Phil McLachlan
The Ghostriders scored another four points over the weekend, winning both games with a combined total of 18 goals.
Friday took the Riders to Columbia Valley, who in the previous weekend had proven to be quite the competition. Although Fernie beat them again, the story was not the same. One week after a close 8-7 game, Fernie took Columbia Valley to town, robbing them in a 9-1 victory.
One day later, the Ghostriders were back in Fernie to face off against the Golden Rockets. A game that had the potential to be a close battle proved once again to be very strongly dominated by the Riders who took a 9-2 victory with ease.
“I thought our puck pursuit and our puck pressure was just awesome this weekend,” said Ghostriders’ Head Coach, Craig Mohr. “We smothered both of them.”
Smooth plays and on-ice communication was evident from the start, and in just two minutes from the start of the game, the Riders scored their first goal. This trend continued, and the period finished with Fernie in a two-point lead.
Coach Mohr gave the Riders lots of credit for the consistent pressure that they placed on the Rockets defence.
“It was everyone going, it was everyone jumping,” said Coach Mohr. “We got to roll four lines. When you get to do that, for one it starts tiring other teams out.”
A clean first period and uneventful start to the second period was interrupted with 11:22 left when a scramble at the net gave the Ghostriders another point, making the score 3-0. Feeding off this energy, the Riders once again put on the pressure and sank another goal thirty seconds later. Even with a four point lead, the Riders did not let up, and scored another with 9:57 left in the second period.
Evidently fed-up, the Rockets communicated efficiently enough to retain possession of the puck and score their first goal with 6:28 left on the clock.
This sudden retaliation from the Rockets sparked the Riders once again and allowed them to add another two points to their total score, heading into the last period with a comfortable 7-1 lead.
The beginning of the third period was uneventful, and although pressure was high around both nets, each goalie managed to keep shots clear until the Ghostriders snuck another in with 14:27 left. Once again, the Rockets gained some fuel off of this attack and scored with 13 minutes left.
As if a six goal lead wasn’t enough, the Riders again drove the puck up the ice, making the score 9-2, one minute later. The last 12 minutes of the game proved to be good sport, but the score remained at 9-2 until the whistle blew.
The nine goals scored by the Fernie Ghostriders were not claimed by one individual, but by a different member of the team for each one. Coach Mohr believes this speaks to the teams communication as well as a collective mentality and understanding about what it takes to win.
“Everyone’s contributing, we’ve got good life right now,” said Coach Mohr. “Let’s keep it going.”
Next weekend will be unlikely to result in such a contrast on the scoreboard, as the Riders face their two biggest rivals in the league. Friday takes Fernie to Creston, and Saturday brings the Riders back home to face Kimberley.
“Our practices this week are going to be pretty intense,” said Mohr. “They know who we have up next, that’s our focus right now; go into Creston and get a win there.”
Previous games in Creston back in September proved to be tight, with the Ghostriders losing in overtime with an empty net goal.
A new trade for the Ghostriders will bring in 20-year-old Devin Nemes from Beaver Valley. Nemes stands at a height of 5’11”, 185 lbs., and has been serving as one of the Beaver Valley Nighthawks top players for the last two years.
“We’re excited to get Dev. We’re excited to get another real big strong body,” said Mohr. “He plays real hard, and he’ll fit in with our locker room no problem. He knows lots of them.”
The Ghostriders will face off against Kimberley at the Fernie Memorial Arena on Saturday at 7:30.