Park Place Lodge

By George Hurlbut

The Ghostriders won their first two games against Golden 6-1 and 4-2. In the first game it was all Ghostriders but in the second game the Rockets played a pretty good road game and the 600 fans were starting to ring the alarm bells late in the third when it was still 2-2 . Connor McLaughlin ended the panic when he scored his first goal with 3:32 left in the third. It was a beauty where he beat half the Golden team before roofing it in for the 3-2 lead then he followed it up with a last minute insurance goal. McLaughlin has scored 4 goals in the first two playoff games. Defenseman Marty Wicks had 3 assists in the 4-2 win and has 5 points so far. McLaughlin had the goal of the game in game 2 but in game 1 it was Austin Evans who slipped around a few players before scoring my pick for goal of the game. Honorable mentions to Alex Milhouse and Stefan Seel who both also scored nice goals. Actually there has been no shortage of really nice goals scored so far. Fraser Abdallah had both wins in net, he had an easy night in game one but had to be particularly sharp at times in game two.

As it was all season the Rockets either play the Riders close or like in game one they don’t show all that well. In game #1 the shots were 41-16 but in game #2 the shots were 33-27 and until the last few minutes anyone could have won. It was a pretty good defensive effort by the Riders as they kept the good scoring chances down to a minimum.

Congratulations Will Verner and Ty Morton
Before the game one Eddie Mountain Vice President Milton Crawford presented Ghostriders Coach Will Verner the Eddie Mountain Coach of the Year Award and then he gave Rider Captain Ty Morton the Eddie Mountain Top Defenseman award. Morton scored a lot of points while Captaining the team and Verner coached the youngest ever Ghostriders team to a first place finish.

Blink 182 says …What’s my Age Again?On February 22 the US celebrated an anniversary, in 1980 the USA defeated the Soviets 4 -3 to win Olympic Gold at Lake Placid NY. The game will forever be remembered as the “Miracle On Ice” or in Russia as Friday the 13th . Oddly enough way back then I watched that game but I was also a regular at the Western International Hockey League games. The WIHL was a senior league that competed for the once prestigious (still is in my mind) Allen Cup. At that time the WIHL had teams in Trail, Spokane, Nelson, Cranbrook, Kimberley and here in Fernie. The Fernie team was named the Elk Valley Blazers and one of the players on that squad was a hardnosed defenseman named Dan Robertson. Dan was known for his UFC style of play and thirty two years later I’m watching the old Kootenay Cable guy’s son Dylan with the Ghostriders, and with 120 PIM in his rookie season the old saying “The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree” seems to apply.

A top scorer traded out of Trail does good…

Matt Wilkins of the Brooks Bandits was the AJHL’s Top Scorer this year with 99 points. Wilkins who was also a former Kimberley Dynamiter Forward averaged 1.7 points per game and led the league with 99 points. Wilkins also averaged 1.7 points a game and had 15 PP goals, the most in the AJHL. Wilkins last played in the KIJHL with the Nitro’s in the 2008-09 season and had, 31 goals and 61 total points. Trail had Wilkins at 18 but traded him to Brooks where he has never looked back and this year his team finished first overall, Trail may finish last overall, nice trade.

Player of the Month
Fernie Ghostriders have nominated Evan Burgess as their player of the month for February. Evan was key to several of our victories in February and helped the club win 1st place for the 3rd consecutive year in the Eddie Mountain Division.

Kill the refs, really, really
On the Kahnawake Mohawk reserve south of Montreal a player was ejected from a game after he tugged on the referees sweater making the ref lose his balance. After the game the players entered the referees room and the player in question started assaulting the referee while the other players held the linesmen so their team mate could beat on him. The coaches finally made their way into the room and stopped it. The same team had been barred from the playoffs last season for attacking an official and a volunteer. Oh did I mention that they were a Midget A team? The league has cancelled all minor hockey home games for the rest of the season after the incident. So now they can play real wreck hockey or hire them for Goon two.

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