The Ghostriders lost the last two games against the Kimberley Dynamiters, 2-1 at home and 5-2 with (2 empty net goals) on the road in Kimberley. In the last two games the Riders turned it on and were easily as good as the Nitro’s, and at times better, but had trouble solving Tyson Brouwer. The two games they won were when Brouwer was hurt and Brody Nelson was in net. Brouwer let in one bad goal in game 5 on a shot from the blueline… but turned out… it was an off side goal… it may have changed the series… The Riders didn’t really show up for game 4 but still only lost 2-1. Jeff Orser kept them in that game and was as good enough in net to win the series.
Coach Craig Mohr recruited a pretty good group of players in his first year back with the Ghostriders and he was also named as the Eddie Mt. Coach of the Year. Mohr’s coaching style makes for a fun game for the fans to watch and the players he brought in, plus what was left over from last year, put on a pretty good show finishing second overall in the KIJHL while playing an entertaining style of hockey.
Jeff Orser won the Eddie Mountain Top Goalie Award this year and was great in net, he will be 20 this year so is a possibility for next year unless he choses to go to school.
Cole Keebler led the Riders in playoff scoring but was hampered by injuries all season… he may have contended for the KIJHL top scorer had he been healthy, and may have had an even better playoff as well.
Spencer Bender only played the last game vs Kimberley… he had assists on both goals, he would have made a difference had he been healthy. Bender had 5 G 2 A in the five P/O games he played…
When you come back from injuries it takes a while to get in sync… Doan Smith 95 was skating on one good leg after missing weeks with a knee injury and only had 1 A after a 35 G 62 pt regular season.
Sam Plaquin, Joel Burgess, Aaron Neufeld, Derek Georgopoulos and Captain Dylan Robertson, the twenty year olds were leaders off the ice and were in the top seven of Rider PO scorers… the Captain delivered several big hits on anything and everything and anyone including goalies. I know the fans and Coaches were liking it…the league, with help from Hockey Canada, seems to have gotten away from the physical game. Burgess and Robertson would have thrived a few years ago in the war zones. I would bet any of them would have a shot at playing in the BCIHL if that’s what they wanted to do… more on the team and the 94’s after the Banquet
Justin Peers with the big shot (could be the new McCulloch next yr) was just over a point a game in the PO and has developed nicely over the winter… and what D man want’s to keep up to Jason Yan’s foot speed.
Tayler Sincennes scored a few goals and had a few fights as well and David Kelly is a better player than he was in September and that’s not bad after missing most of last year with a broken leg.
Travis Thomsen was the leader on the blue-line with a good mix of toughness and points and Evan Reid can definitely skate at the next level and had the most points of the D. Dustin Watt turned into a pretty good pickup from Golden early in the year and Matt Pronchuk is developing into a good all around D man but missed the last few games with an injury. Zak Kuchler and Will Lightfoot were the steady stay home D the coaches wanted and Jaffray’s Dan Burgess who didn’t play for a couple of years fit right in after a few weeks. Would sure like to see him play out the rest of his eligibility here in Fernie. Brandon Butler was a great backup finishing with a great 13-5 record.
And Finally… the sixteen year olds Cavin Tilsley and Kyle Haugo… Both these players made real big leaps in their development as the season wore on. Tilsley is looking at the WHL next year so I hear… and Haugo earned a spot on D and at times up front. Tilsley has the speed to move up and Haugo has the size to get a look at the next level if that’s what he want’s to do.
Besides the two 98’s that were just mentioned we sometimes forget that Peers, Reid, Yan, Kuchler, Sincennes, Pronchuk, Butler,D Burgess and Kelly were rookies, if they return next year Coach Mohr will have the so called good nucleus to start from.