The Fernie Ghostriders are playing their first home-away-from-home game this Friday in Sparwood against the Grand Forks Border Bruins.
The Bruins currently sit second last in the Murdoch division with 16 points, while Fernie sits third in the Mountain division with 20 points.
Fernie’s last road trip away from home resulted in a 1-1 weekend, after playing the Kelowna Chiefs, followed by the North Okanagan Knights.
The Riders lost 6-2 to the Chiefs, who currently sit first in the Okanagan division. The following night the Riders won 3-1 against Knights, who are currently placed last in the Okanagan division.
“They were probably the best team we faced so far,” said Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner, referring to their game against Kelowna.
“They moved the puck really well and they’re very offensive minded. They make it very difficult in our defensive zone, for sure.”
Kelowna put the pressure on from the first puck drop, catching the Ghostriders off-guard, which resulted in a quick two-nothing lead for Kelowna. According to Wagner, this caused the team to snap into action. Fernie led the second period with their first goal, scored by Dylan Defosse and assisted by Greg Susinksi.
“We went into the second with the mindset that we were going to be in the game and compete, and I thought we did a really good job in the second period of dictating the pace,” said Wagner.
A neutral zone turnover by Kelowna made it 3-1 going into the third period, where Kelowna was able to secure two more before Fernie was able to successfully retaliate. Nikolas Sombrowski scored a shorthanded goal 13 minutes into the last period, with the help of Susinski and Kyle Ford.
Kelowna was able to secure one last goal, making it 6-2.
“I thought the compete level was there, the execution wasn’t so much,” said Wagner.
The head coach highlighted what he described as an incredible move by Sombrowski on a breakaway, resulting in a shorthanded goal for Fernie. Sombrowski was named away star for the game.
The Ghostriders took a 3-1 victory against North Okanagan the following night, and coach Wagner described it as more of a physical game.
“We recorded 70 hits in the game, which is an all-season high for us,” he said.
Wagner said that although he believes Fernie dictated the pace, he gave the Knights credit for matching their intensity.
“At the end of the day we did what we needed to do to come out with a good road win,” he said.
Goalkeeper Riley Fonger was named away star for the game.
The Ghostriders are in Sparwood this Friday – the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.