Park Place Lodge

Rider News: After the first couple of weeks the Ghostriders have a pretty good 4-2-1 record and are in third place in what is turning out to be a much tougher than some of us thought Eddie Mountain Division. When the KIJHL realigned last summer some of the fans who think they know everything (like Rider News) were thinking the Ghostriders would have a bit of a battle but when it was all over would end up in first place by a country mile. You didn’t agree with us back then and you are being proven right now.

Will Verner: “It is hard to win, I believe that we need to be better than last year to win as everyone else is getting better. I definitely thought our division was going to be a battle and there are several rinks that are not fun to play in. It will be an exciting year and it is going to be a tough race to get a highly coveted playoff spot.”

Rider News: We haven’t seen Creston yet but Coach Joe Martin and his Thundercats are in first place so far in this young season and they always seem to play the Ghostriders close.

Will Verner: “Creston will be tough, they have added some real high end talent and they are a team that has their core back from last year. Their goaltending is again excellent, their back end much improved, and they have definitely added skill to their line-up this year.”

Rider News: Even the Golden Rockets who were dead last in the KIJHL last year are up off the mat and fighting and so far second year Coach Rockie Zinger has a winning record. The franchise also seems to have some pretty good community support with a new web site (that is second to none) and lots of media attention.

Will Verner: “ Golden is as hard a working team as we have seen in the last couple of years. With more talent this year and many returning players they are going to win a lot of games including many on the road”.

Rider News: It looks like Columbia Valley will be able to win some of the games they couldn’t win last year and Coach Darren Naylor now in his second year has some key returning players.

Will Verner: “ Columbia Valley has two of the best forwards in the league in Reid Mitchell and Brett Bjorkman along with experienced, tough forward Brent McQueen. Columbia Valley is not a fun team to play against and they will have the ability to challenge teams mentally and they will take advantage with their strong powerplay”.

Rider News: All Ghostrider fans know that new Coach Wayne Kiever and the hated Kimberley Dynamiters will fight with the Riders to the gates of hell and you never know who will be standing when it’s over.

Will Verner: “Kimberley has several players back from their silver medal team at the Cyclone Taylor. Jesse Felske will again be one of the best “D” men in the league and Andrew Green, Cody Lester and Leo Keefer will make up one of the best lines in the league. Several young players in Kimberley are going to develop into excellent hockey players including Matt Wilkins and Sam Mellor.
“With all of this being said we are still the team to beat and our guys know that they need to pick up their play. We need to improve at all positions and work each day to get better so that we will again become the team to defend our back to back championships. Every game is hard to win and we need to prepare for every shift. It will definitely be a battle for the next 5 months to win the division banner and our guys know the commitment we need to achieve success”.

Rider News: You still have great leadership and goaltending from last season, how important is that as you try and repeat.

Will Verner: “Leadership and goaltending are the most important pieces to building a championship team. Scotty Traverse and Joe DeLuca are two of the best leaders I have seen at the Junior level and Jason Greenwell is one heck of a goaltender. We need to get back on track and win hockey games; with the emotion and passion our Captain brings we are in good hands. Every time he is on the ice he makes players around him better. Scotty Traverse does what it takes to win and he demands his teammates follow his lead”.

Rider News: After the first couple of weeks Dave McIvor is the top scorer in the KIJHL with 9 goals and17 points in only 7 games. Rider fans have delighted in watching him and his slick moves for the last three years. Do you think he could score 50.

Will Verner: “McIvor is off to a good start and we look for him to continue building on his two way play. It is very important for Dave to play in all situations and we demand that he competes every time he is on the ice. When Dave has his feet moving he is a very effective two way player and he definitely has the ability to put up excellent numbers this season. We definitely want more from him as he is an elite player in the league. Discipline needs to be better and his attention to detail needs to be better. 50 goals would be a good season for most top line players in our league and we believe that he needs to score at least 50 times and we feel that he has the ability to surpass 60”.

Rider News: When your blue line is healthy you seem to have a pretty good mix of veterans, toughness and a couple of youngsters who show a lot of promise.

Will Verner: “We feel we have a strong “D”-core anchored by 4 solid veterans. We moved a young promising “D”man, Neil Rooney, to Sicamous to open up ice for Evan, Zach and Brock. Then as normal when you have an abundance of defense men and you trade one of them the others start to fall off. Within a seven day stretch we lost three to injury and one to a suspension. The great news is our young 16 and 17 year olds are going to get some great experience over the next couple weeks and it will definitely help their development in establishing themselves as everyday players. 17 year old Zach Traverse is gaining more confidence after each skate and played a solid two way game on Saturday against Beaver Valley. Evan Burgess is going to get better and better every day as he gets comfortable playing at this level. He is already showing signs that he will be able to compete with oppositions top lines.This was definitely evident on Saturday night when he was regularly out there against Beaver Valley’s top line”.

vs Friday October 10 @ 7:30

Leave a comment

Comments are closed.

Related Stories