By Ezra Black
The nice thing about the game of hockey is it’s 60 minutes long, mused Riders’ bench boss Craig Mohr in a post-game interview on Dec. 2.
Fernie had just used those extra 20 minutes to pull off a spectacular come from behind victory against the Kimberley Dynamiters at Fernie Memorial Arena and Mohr was in a reflective mood.
“You can’t always go to the well in third periods. That’s a couple of games there where we’ve had bad starts. Not a lot of energy,” he said. “But it’s nice to know our team doesn’t quit and stays focussed no matter what.”
After two periods of flat play and a string of penalties the Fernie Ghostriders were down 3-1 going into the third.
They abruptly woke up after 40 minutes to score four unanswered goals.
“I think we played very flat and with no emotion in those first two periods,” said Mohr. “We’ll give Kimberley a little credit there, they had us frustrated. You could tell on the bench.”
Mohr credited the Riders’ core of veterans for keeping cool after falling behind by two goals.
“[Ryan] Kennedy, [Taylor] Sincennes and [Riley] Siebel. I thought they did a good job of getting out there and getting the pucks deep,” said Mohr. “Sometimes that’s all it takes to get the next line going. I thought our captain Alex Cheveldave and Keagan (Kinger) Kingwell did an excellent job. They didn’t have to say anything. They just went out and did it on the ice.”
“Once we got the one, it was almost like a shark maybe. A little bit of blood in the water and away they went.”
Kimberley opened the scoring in the first period with a goal from Connor Kendall that was assisted by Chase Miller and Cody Lassiter.
Ty Abbott tied it up mid-way through the second with help from captain Alex Cheveldave and left winger Justin Peers but Kimberley answered back with goals from Nolan Kurylo and Chase Miller.
Things got scrappy in the second with Fernie’s Ty Carron and Kimberley’s Harrison Risdon being served fighting majors.
“We’ve been pretty disciplined all year,” said Mohr. “They got us a little rattled. Guys were barking at the refs on the bench. We had to rein it in a little bit.”
In the third Fernie came out flying with goals from Tristan Downe, Sincennes and a game winning power play goal from Mitch Titus.
“It was pretty awesome,” said Titus. “We came out really strong in the third and they couldn’t keep up. They played soft, we played hard, nothing to it.”
Kingwell made it 5-3 with about seven minutes left to play.
Fernie’s penalty killing units were key in pulling this win. It managed to stop Kimberley on four of six occasions. On the other side of things the Riders scored on two of four power play opportunities.
Ghostriders’ goaltender Brandon Butler effectively backstopped the team by stopping 37 shots.
Fernie was looking for a four-point weekend but had to settle for three after a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride to Golden Arena.
The Riders outshot the Rockets 43 to 22. Golden’s goaltender Dorian Laganiere-Labranche was awarded first star of the game for his efforts.
The second period was particularly scrappy. Between the two teams, 14 penalties were handed out including four game misconducts and four fighting majors.
The Riders were trailing 4-3 with only minutes left in the game but once again Ty Abbott scored with help from Aidan Wilson to eke out a tie.