The Ghostriders came on the ice ready to fight on Friday night in their game against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, and in the end the Riders faced six suspensions including a two game suspension for head coach Will Verner.
The Riders were able to come out with their second win in a row against their rivals, the Thunder Cats, with a final score of 8-2.
“You don’t want to see a game like that every night,” said associate head coach of the Ghostriders, Rick Hillier.
The Thunder Cats have developed a reputation for bringing a physical game and attempting to use intimidation to gain control on the ice.
“The way the game went in Creston last weekend, we knew they were going to come with the same attitude,” said Hillier.
Riders player Zachary Baba got the game started when he dropped his gloves in the first six seconds of the game, fighting Thunder Cats player Scott Swiston.
Hillier criticized the officiating of the game against Creston on January 29. The same referee officiated Friday’s game.
“I think if all that hacking and slashing was dealt with early in the game, then things would have been a bit more under control,” he said.
Despite there being over 60 penalties, the Riders were able to maintain control of the game, scoring five power play goals and getting a much deserved win against the Thunder Cats.
“It was a great win for us, and Creston and other people in the league maybe think that we aren’t the biggest, toughest team, but it was good to see our guys answer the bell on Friday night,” said Hillier. “It was a good character win for us.”
On Saturday night, the Ghostriders crushed the Golden Rockets with a 14-3 win.
The Ghostriders were down three players going in to the game against the Rockets.
“Our guys played pretty well, and I think their goal tending let them down on Saturday night,” said Hillier.
He said that he was impressed that the coaching staff didn’t let the Rockets start slashing, hacking and fighting, which can be common in a high scoring game.
“It wasn’t like we were trying to run the score,” said Hillier. “We had four lines and we played them all. And I think at some point maybe they threw in the towel and didn’t really compete in the third period very much.”
The Riders played the Columbia Valley Rockies on Tuesday night, winning 3-1.
After a scoreless first period, Cade Pilton got the first goal for the Ghostriders in the second period.
Connor McLaughlin, who recently joined the Riders, got the second goal in the third period.
Fernie’s third goal was scored by Luke Richardson.
The Ghostriders will play the last two games of the regular season, which are back-to-back games against Kimberley, starting with a home game on Friday night.
The Eddie Division playoffs start on February 15 in Fernie. The Ghostriders will face-off against the Kimberley Dynamiters for the first round of the playoffs.