The Ghostriders won all three of their road games last weekend, 4-2 in Osoyoos, 5-3 in Princeton and 8-4 in Grand Forks giving them an excellent 9-4-0-1 road record.
Easily the most anticipated game in the KIJHL was last Friday night in Osoyoos. The Coyotes were, and still are, the first overall team in the league with 51 points but the Riders are right behind them with 46 points and three games in hand. Finishing first overall guarantees you home ice throughout the playoffs. The Riders home record right now is 13-0-1 so home ice is a big deal for the Riders, and every other team as well.
In Osoyoos the Coyotes were looking for revenge after losing 4-3 in overtime in Fernie back on Nov 1st and they even threw a scare into the Riders when they scored just nine seconds into the game. But there was no panic on the bench and by the end of the second period it was the Ghostriders who had battled to a hard-fought 2-1 lead. Midway through the third the Coyotes tied it up but a few minutes later Sam Plaquin from Cole Keebler and Aaron Neufeld on the power play scored what would turn out to be the game winner. Spencer Bender iced the game with an insurance goal and the Riders got an emotional 4-2 road win.
The shots were 39-35 for Osoyoos and Rider goalie Jeff Orser was named as their player of the game making several big time saves. The other goal scorers were Joel Burgess and Dylan Robertson.
On Saturday in Princeton the Riders got a 5-3 win. Justin Peers led the way with 2 goals and an assist and Doan Smith and Josh McCulloch each had a goal and 2 assists, Smith was picked as the player of the game and Tayler Sincennes also had a goal as well. Jeff Orser got his 15th win in net.
On Sunday in Grand Forks the weary Riders gave up 3 goals early in the first then scored 5 in a row and 3 in the third to win the game 8-4. Josh McCulloch and Aaron Neufeld each had 2 goals and 2 assists while Sam Plaquin and Joel Burgess had a goal and 2 assists each. Neufeld was the player of the game and Derek Georgopoulos and Spencer Bender also scored goals while Brandon Butler got the win in net.
Next up, Beaver Valley is in Fernie on Teddy Bear toss night this Saturday and on Sunday Invermere is in town and if you bring a non-perishable food item you get into the game Invermere game for a Toonie. No pressure… but I’m picking D man Dustin Watt to score the goal to release the Teddy Bears Friday, it will be his first goal.