By Sara Moulton
The Ghostriders’ successful season continues after they notched up two more wins at home last weekend, serving a 6-1 thumping to the Grand Forks Border Bruins before battling the Kelowna Chiefs for a 4-3 overtime win.
Sam Plaquin led the onslaught on Friday night by putting the puck past Grand Forks goalie just one minute into the game, in a display of things to come for the beleaguered Bruins. Matthew Pronchuk, Tayler Sincennes, Derek Georgopoulous, Zak Kuchler and Tyler Rebelato also contributed goals for the Riders, while goalie Jeff Orser stopped all but one of 28 shots on goal from Grand Forks.
The following night, the Riders hosted the Chiefs for the only time this season, and treated fans to a back and forth battle for the win. Georgopolous’ opening goal in the first period was quickly countered with one for the Chiefs, but a goal-less second period left both teams hungry by the third. Rookie Jason Yan and veteran Spencer Bender kept the Riders in the game during the final period, and as the Chiefs fought back with two more of their own, it became clear that the bout would be settled in overtime.
With the pressure on to finish the game, it was Joel Burgess who came through and put one between the pipes during overtime one. Referee Jared McMillan didn’t take kindly to the Riders rushing onto the ice to celebrate the win, awarding a team penalty for game misconduct, but the team didn’t seem to notice as they performed a victory lap for their fans.
Returning to the ice after sitting out for a few weeks with injury, team captain Dylan Robertson earned assists on two of the six goals on Friday, and said he is happy with the performance of his team overall so far this season.
“It’s good to be back in the line-up; we had a good effort tonight and I think we have a strong future with this team,” said Robertson.
“Everything on and off the ice is looking good and I’m really excited,” he added.
Meanwhile, head coach and general manager Craig Mohr praised the performance of Burgess in scoring the overtime goal on Saturday and highlighted the addition of new recruit Jason Yan from the Calgary Canucks. While conceding that Saturday’s game could have been played stronger, Mohr was content to accept the four-point weekend and move forward to focus on upcoming games.
“On Friday I thought the second and third periods were as good as we’ve played all year ... [on Saturday] we didn’t play so well, but a hardworking goal by Joel Burgess gave us the win in overtime,” Mohr reflected.
He concluded, “We weren’t our usual quick-skating, tough-on-pucks team, but you build from that and learn that sometimes good teams don’t play their best and that’s how they learn to win.”
The Ghostriders will be back at the Fernie Memorial Arena on Friday, October 17 when they host the Columbia Valley Rockies from 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss it!