With just a handful of games left in the regular season, the Ghostriders’ games are beginning to feel more like playoff games. This was evident in Friday night’s game against the Columbia Valley Rockies.
The Rockies have been one of the Ghostriders’ biggest rivals this season, and the Riders headed into the game with a 1-5 record against them. But the Ghostriders came out on top, with a 3-1 win, putting some distance between them and the Rockies in the standings.
Although the Rockies were first to score, the Ghostriders were quick to answer, with a goal from power-forward Coleton Dawson.
“I was looking to pass to [Mack] Differenz the entire way but the defense gave me the shot and there was a back checker on my left side so I cut into the middle and saw the goalie slide over and put it five hole. It was pretty exciting. I wasn’t planning on shooting so it was a quick decision,” said Dawson about his goal.
Justin Peers and Aiden Wilson also scored for the Riders in the evening, pleasing Coach Craig Mohr.
“I think the theme of the night was that it was a really big team win. Everyone on the team played hard, played to win and as a coach, I’m all smiles,” said Mohr.
Mohr was impressed with the performance of the entire team.
“We didn’t have any passengers tonight. Everyone played hard, everyone played well, and that is what we have got to do,” he said.
It was a physical game, with both teams hitting and playing hard. Mohr said it resembled playoff hockey.
“They are kind of a rugged, tough, in your face kind of team and I don’t say that in a bad way, that is just their identity. They play hard,” said Mohr. “When you get teams like that, it’s just a little bit of that extra intensity that it brings out in our players. They knew how important this one was.”
The team is still without their top line, as Cole Keebler, Zach Befus and Alex Cheveldave are all out with various injuries until the playoffs begin.
“We know it’s going to be a while, and at this time of year, there is no sense in rushing back,” said Mohr in relation to the injuries.
The Ghostriders’ dreams of earning four points over the weekend were dashed in Creston the following night. The team suffered a 5-1 loss at the sticks of the Creston Valley Thundercats. The Ghostriders were tied with the Thundercats before the game, and are now two points behind in the standings. The Rockies trail next, sitting four points behind the Ghostriders.
For the rest of the season, the Ghostriders mostly play their closest division rivals, including four games against the Kimberley Dynamiters, who lead the Eddie Mountain Division. The Dynamiters host the Ghostriders on Friday, before coming to play at the Fernie Memorial Arena for a special game on Monday at 2 p.m.
The next home game is set for Saturday, where the Ghostriders will host the Creston Valley Thundercats. The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m.