By Matt Laurin
Maybe it’s the mustaches? That is, if you consider that inconsistent bit of fuzz on the lips of most Fernie Ghostriders to be a legitimate mustache.
“I guess it’s a superstition,” chuckled goaltender Chris Solecki. “But it seems to be bringing us some luck.”
Whatever the case, the Ghostriders have now strung together seven straight wins in the month now known as Movember.
After wins over Creston and Spokane this week, the Riders (16 – 5 – 0 – 1) remain in the top spot in the Eddie Mountain Division, five points ahead of the Kimberley Dynamiters.
“It feels good to keep the streak going. The guys have been working real hard and it’s paying off,” said Solecki. “We’re getting contributions from a bunch of different guys and starting to play better as a team.”
Solecki, who earned his second shutout of the season with a 3 – 0 win in Creston on Tuesday, has been a big part of the team’s success.
Between Solecki and fellow netminder Pierce Dushenko, the duo has allowed only nine goals during the win streak.
The goaltender credits much of his success to working with goaltender coach Gerry Pang, who rejoined the Ghostriders at the beginning of the season.
“We’ve been working a lot with Panger, and he’s really helped,” said Solecki. “I don’t get always get the chance to watch video, so it’s nice to have that extra set of eyes.”
“He’s an old school guy. He doesn’t try and change my style, but has really worked a lot with my angles and positioning.”
Pierce Dushenko got the nod on Saturday, turning away 35 of 38 shots, in a 5 – 3 win over the Spokane Braves.
The Riders jumped to a three-goal lead, but almost let it slip away before rebounding late in the game.
Braeden Monk led the way with three points, on a night in which the home team didn’t bring it’s best effort.
“It’s nice to know we can get by on the bare minimum, but we know we have to be better going forward,” said Solecki.
The Riders will look to win out the month of November, with only two games remaining on the schedule.
Meanwhile, when asked about who’s winning in the mustache department, Solecki deferred to the captain.
“Josh McKissock definitely has a good one going. I’ve got to say Dushenko is struggling a little bit. Gardner might be lagging behind a bit too.”
Come decide for yourself, when the Riders host the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday night. As always, puck drops at 7:30.