Riders in a rut; ‘We have to be tougher’ says Coach

The Fernie Ghostriders were neck-and-neck with the Kimberley Dynamiters on Friday, December 29, until they slowed down with five minutes left in the second period and allowed the away team to take a four-goal lead. The home team was unable to recover.

The Riders lost that night, 9-4. Four-hundred-thirty-five attended the rivalry game.

Coach Craig Mohr admitted they can’t keep giving up countless goals. He said he doesn’t mind seeing Kimberley score, but he does expect his team to buckle down and return the pressure.

“You can’t do that,” he said, regarding Kimberley scoring four in five minutes. “This hockey club has got to get tougher. Got to get mentally tougher, and just get tougher period.”

Mohr says they have been losing the one-on-one battles, and says this too, must stop.

So far this season, the Riders have lost twice as many games as they have won; nine wins, 18 losses, one tie and two overtime losses.

“Plain and simple, we have to become a grittier hockey team right now, to get out of this funk we’re in,” said the coach.

The first period ended with the Ghostriders losing a player to an injury. The crowd erupted with boos when Fernie’s Jordon Kromm was hit high in the head and fell to the ice. There was no call from referee Corey Stanbury. Kromm is out indefinitely with a concussion. Kromm admitted after the game, “That didn’t feel very nice.”

Fernie’s Grayson Neufeld retaliated with 30 seconds left in the period and received a game misconduct. This penalty carried over into the second and allowed Kimberley to score a power play goal.

Saworski, Rogers, and Green have returned from the injury bench. Stewart, Kromm, Caldwell, Nemes, Susinski and Pierce are still out of commission.

“It’s just this revolving door of trying to get healthy,” said Mohr. “It’s not helping matters much but you can’t make excuses. It’s what it is.”

“The other teams aren’t going to feel bad for us,” he added.

The Ghostriders played Creston on New Year’s Eve and lost 9-1. Currently they sit in second last position in the Kootenay KIJHL, with 21 points. Below them, Golden, with five points. Kimberley is in first with 52 points.

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