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Five Minutes with Ghostrider head Coach and General Manager Will Verner September 30, 2008

Posted by cindy in : Fernie Ghostriders , comments closed

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

GM Will Verner Shuffles The Deck to get ready for Saturday in Fernie VS BV @ 7:30 September 23, 2008

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GM Will Verner Shuffles The Deck

Coach Will Verner continues to shuffle the deck as he tries to bring another Championship back home to Fernie by making a few trades and signing a couple of players. Verner says “ We traded defenseman Neil Rooney to the Sicamous Eagles for future considerations. We wish Neil well and thank him for his efforts.” “We also released Goaltender Jordan Givens and wish him well and again thank him for his efforts.”

Down a goalie and a forward Verner made a couple of other moves. Verner said “ We have acquired Goaltender Robin Mccoll 89 from the Golden Rockets for future considerations. This deal also finalized the futures owed to Golden for the Liam Buliziuk trade. And have agreed to sign James Braakman, 1990 from Calgary Alberta Last season, James played 36 games with the Calgary Royals Midget AAA team registering 5 goals, 11 assists for 16 points and he had 40 minutes in penalties. James will center Matt MacDonald and Tyson Bentley on Friday night in Golden. Liam Buliziuk, Lee Klapp and Evan Burgess should return to the line-up Friday night as they all have recovered from their injuries. We currently have a roster that includes 15 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goaltenders”

Ghostriders Get Hat Trick On Road September 15, 2008

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Ghostriders get the hat-trick on the road !

Last Friday the Ghostriders won 6-2 in Grand Forks, Scott Traverse (2), Zach Traverse, Tim Crawley,Jordan Hirano and Tyson Bentley scored the goals and Jason Greenwell got the win in net.

On Saturday 150 people watched the Riders thump Princeton 7-3. Dave McIvor, Adam Taylor, Chad Olson, Matt MacDonald, Scott Anderson Scott Traverse and Tim Crawley scored the goals and Jason Greenwell got the win in goal.

On Sunday the boys completed the weekend sweep winning 4-3 in a S/O vs Sicamous. It took 15 shooters before Evan Burgess scored the winner. Geoff Doka,Dave McIvor and Brock Tailfeathers scored in regulation and Scott Cisco scored the first goal in the S/O and Jason Greenwell was sensational in the game and was named as a game star in two of the 3 games last weekend. The line of Traverse , McIvor and MacDonald had 18 points in three games for the Riders. Rookie MacDonald was leading the KIJHL in scoring after the weekend with 7 points McIvor with 6 and Traverse with 5 were right behind him .

Ghostriders get first win (5-2) in exhibition play vs Creston September 6, 2008

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After losing their first two exhibition games 6-3 in Creston and 3-0 to Kimberley here in Fernie the Ghostriders got their first win of the year against the Creston Thunder Cats on Friday night.

The Riders got off to a slow start Friday and were down 2-0 before former Nelson Leaf Chad Olson scored in the second period. After that it was all Ghostriders and in the third the Riders scored four unanswered goals. Scott Cisco, Matt MacDonald, Dave McIvor and Chad Olson with his second on the night finished off the Cats 5-2. Longtime Thunder Cat Cole Yurkowski scored both Creston’s goals.

In the first period Creston was the better team with several good scoring chances but last year’s playoff MVP Jason Greenwell kept the score down until the Ghostriders settled down and eliminated the odd man rushes. A coupla fights in this one with Joe Deluca featured in the main event.

The Ghostriders go to Kimberley Saturday then open the season on the road Friday September 12 in Grand Forks, Saturday in Princeton and Sunday in Summerland.

The Ghostriders home opener is on Friday September 19 when they host the Columbia Valley Rockies, game time is 7:30. See you at the rink.