By George Hurlbut
The Ghostriders won their (always controversial- and thank god it was as we love the great emotion) series against the Kimberley Dynamiters with a 6-2 win at home in game seven. The Riders played an almost perfect game (at least by Jr. B standards) in the win and allowed few great scoring chances. When they did allow some hot shots Chris Solecki was there and made some great confidence shedding saves.
Adversity…certainly not University
The Ghostriders also fought off the adversity of losing the night before when they snatched a defeat out of the jaws of victory because of discipline and weak refereeing. Yes there is a big difference in the calls and non calls between referees. In game seven stripes Waugh allowed the players to determine the outcome and both teams got away with some things and were called for some. The Nitros went 0-7 Fernie was 2-6 on the PP. The Riders emotion level was on extreme after losing their Captain Ty Morton and the hardnosed Brendon Mangone to game misconducts at the end of game six and Cole Conway to injury but they contained it and used it to their advantage by playing at a fevered pitch in game seven against the Nitro’s, especially in the first period. There was also some adversity between the fans…thus the certainly not University.
The three stars of game 7
The three stars on the game sheet were players who had not had particularly great series’ but really showed what they could do under pressure. Josh McSkimming always has some moments in the games he plays but in 7 he was a force and was named as the first star, I was quite happy to see him get the empty netter after all of the effort he showed. Patrick Webb filled in nicely with Morton out and Burgess injured clearing the puck and getting in the faces of the Nitro’s once in a while. Alex Milhouse scored his second goal of the series and had an assist and was named as the third star. He came through when we needed him most. The Riders will need those same performances from these guys next week.
The Ghost would be a ghost
Brendan Burge is leading the team with 11 goals and 15 assists in 11 games while Connor McLaughlin is right behind with 12 goals and 9 assists. The Ghost would be a ghost right now without these two great players.
Coach Verner on the series
Verner “We felt it was going to be a longer series. We felt going in that it would be 6 or 7 games and that would mean we would lose at least 2 or 3 games if we were fortunate enough to win. Losing is never fun yet it forces you to make adjustments and answer questions. Game 3 and 4 were the changing point for our club in the series as we were either going to make some changes in the way we played as a group or we were going to be out in 6 games. Kimberley earned huge momentum at the end of game 2 when they fought back and almost tied the game and it took us until game 5 to get the momentum back. Game 6 was probably the best game of the series as both teams played well. Game 7 was an outstanding performance by our players. They really rallied around our guys who were out of the line up and played a complete 60 minutes”.
The Players of the Series
The coaches picked Austin Evans as the Player of the Series, can’t say enough about this guy. Evans came here as a fast skating forward but he also has toughened up as the season has progressed and will play Jr “A” next season.
Goal of the Series Ben Primeau (game five he gave the Riders 5-3 lead) and is an unheralded point a game player.
The coaches picked Carson Brown as the Unsung hero of the Series. Brown has the hardest body checks of all the players, honorable mention to Dylan Robertson who plays a rockem sockem style. He shoulda been here in the 1990’s when the Riders always had over 2000 PIM.
It was great to hear the Golden Voice of Howie Ashmore making the announcements at the game the other night. Howie was the radio voice of the Ghostriders and the Elk Valley Blazers for years and years but we rarely hear him anymore. Won a couple of FMCHL rec hockey championships with Howie back in the 1980’s