The Ghostriders ended the regular season with a loss after a 13 game winning streak.
The Riders faced the Kimberley Dynamiters for two back-to-back games, starting with a game on home ice on Friday night.
“I don’t like to give up four goals,” said associate head coach Rick Hillier. “But given the circumstances, it was probably bound to happen. They’ve got some guys who can score, and when you are spending time killing penalties, there’s not many of our guys left.”
The Riders won Friday’s game 8-4, but like the previous weekend, the game was very physical and resulted in a long list of penalties and several suspensions.
“Everyone lost a lot of players in Friday’s game,” said Hillier.
He said that Kimberley thought they could take a page from Creston’s book and tries to intimidate the Riders, and knock them off their game.
Hillier said that the Riders are not an aggressive team, and that despite the rough games over the past two weeks, the Riders were not the instigators.
On Saturday, Fernie went to Kimberley for the last game of the season.
“The first period was terrible to watch,” said Hillier. “I don’t know if it was all the chatter from the night before of who was going to get who, so both teams were really tentative.”
He said that going in to the third period the Riders had a four – one lead.
“And then for whatever reason we started taking stupid, cheesy penalties,” said Hillier. “They’re big for going past and giving a shot from behind when the ref’s not looking, and our guys would chop their player, and the second guy is always going to get caught.”
This led to several penalties for slashing and tripping.
“I guess we thought that going into the third period with a 4-1 lead it would be easy, but those guys clearly weren’t going to quit, especially when you give them five on threes all night,” said Hillier.
The line up for the Riders was thin by the end of the night leaving players like Thomas Abenante, Cale Wright and Scott Morisseau killing penalties and then staying on the ice for power play.
“But any time you have a 4-1 lead in the third you should finish that off, but that didn’t happen,” said Hillier.
The Riders started Eddie Mountain Division playoffs on Tuesday night on home ice against the Dynamiters.
They made up for their loss on Saturday night with a big 12-3 win over the Dynamiters.
The Riders were strong on the power play scoring 10 power play goals.
Morisseau earned himself the first star after scoring five goals and two assists.
Johnny Park scored two goals for the Riders in the third period.
The next game is on Saturday night, on home ice.