By George Hurlbut
The Ghostriders lost to the first place overall Beaver Valley Nitehawks in five games. The Ghostriders actually outshot the Hawks in the four games that they lost but in the end it boiled down to the fact that they just couldn’t finish enough of the good, and sometimes great, scoring chances they fought for. The Riders only scored 12 goals in the series which is an average of 2.4 goals a game, well below their regular season average of 4.56. The Hawks on the other hand scored 20 and averaged 4 a game but even they were below their season average of 6.21. Proving one thing, it’s harder to score in the playoffs and you have to finish whatever good chances you get.
It was a pretty good season overall for the Ghostriders who finished with 75 points, a 35-12-5 record, and a Eddie Mountain Division Championship for the seventh year in a row by defeating Golden and most importantly Kimberley in the first two playoff rounds.
The youngest team
Usually here in Fernie the Riders have a group of mostly 18-19 and 20 year old veteran players but this season GM Verner experimented by icing one of the youngest teams they have ever had and they had a pretty good season with only a couple of hiccups (short losing streaks).
We will find out exactly what the coaches thought of the younger players in the next day or so at the awards banquet. Some of the younger guys looked way out of place at the start of the season but they got better as the season progressed and in the end they all proved they belong in this league and some of them have shown that they deserve to move up next season.
It will be interesting to see who gets the Rookie of the Year and the Most Improved Awards… they may have to put more than two names on those trophies. Then there’s the Top defenseman, MVP, Most Exciting and Most Inspirational… I’m glad I don’t have to pick the winners. Anyway, we will have all the awards winners here in the next few days.
The Beaver Valley Nitehawks 87 points and first overall will now move on to play the Kelowna Chiefs 56 points and thirteenth overall in the KIJHL Final. The numbers say it’s 4 straight… but Kelowna may surprise, they have some pretty good players who didn’t seem to get it together until later in the season.