By George Hurlbut
How they got here
The Ghostriders won four straight against Golden. Their first two games at home against Golden were 6-1 and 4-2 wins. In Golden in game three the Riders won 9-4, Brendan Burge and Connor McLaughlin each had 2 goals and 3 assists while Ben Primeau had a goal and 3 assists and both Fraser Abdallah and Chris Solecki split the duties in net. Game four was the closest game of all for the Riders and it took two overtime periods before Stefen Seel finally scored on the PP. Brendan Burge and Alex Milhouse scored the other goals and Chris Solecki was outstanding in the Rider net.
Kimberley got here by defeating the fourth place Creston Thunder Cats in six games. Two of the games went to OT. Kimberley’s wins were 2-1 OT, 6-3, 5-0 and they ended their series with an 8-1 win in Creston last Friday night. The Nitros finished in second place this season with 74 points just one point behind the Ghostriders. Nitro forward Richard Hubscher was the KIJHL’s top scorer this season and Braeden Osterpchuk was named as the KIJHL’s top goaltender.
Head to Head
The Ghostriders finished in first place in their division so will have home ice advantage in this series. The Riders averaged 4.56 goals a game this year and allowed an average of 2.85 goals against. Their goals against was second only to Castlegar who averaged 2.56. Kimberley was a little different, they like to score and play a bit of a high risk high reward game. They averaged 5.37 goals a game but their goals against average was 3.12 and they won 5 of eight games vs Fernie this season. Kimberley’ Senate Patten leads his team in the playoffs with 11 points and Richard Hubscher has 9 points.
Congratulations Will Verner and Ty Morton
Before game one of the Golden series 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.
After the first round.
Connor McLaughlin leads the Ghostriders with 10 points followed closely by Brendan Burge with 8 and Alex Milhouse and Ben Primeau with 7 each. Injuries, Derek Georgopoulos is the only player out of the line-up, and may miss another week.