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Ghostrider End of the Year Awards March 26, 2009

Posted by cindy in : Fernie Ghostriders , comments closed

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Fernie Ghostriders Junior Hockey Club ended another successful KIJHL season with their Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony held at the Fernie Alpine Resort in the Grizz Inn up on the scenic ski hill. Each year the Club honors the players and the volunteers who help run the show with what is always a pretty good banquet and party. The main part of the ceremonies are the player awards and that’s what we’re going to feature here.

One of the first players up for an award was Ghostrider Captain Scotty Traverse who the Coaches named as the Most Exciting Player this year. Traverse played as a twenty year old this season and ended up with 22 goals and 58 points despite being hampered with injuries down the stretch. Many of his goals were highlight reel game winning goals as were several of the battles he fought over the years as a Rider. (This guy didn’t wrestle) We first saw Traverse in 2004 when he broke into the league as fifteen year old affiliate player (AP) in the Ghostriders inaugural KIJHL season. For the first couple of years Scotty found himself on a very effective checking line but all the hockey watchers could see he was destined for bigger and better things. By his third season Traverse was known throughout the league as a guy who could do it all, score, check, hit and fight, there was only one thing missing. The next step in Traverse’s evolution was last season when he was named as the Riders Captain. Scotty went on to Captain his team to a Bronze Medal in the Cyclone Taylor Cup last year and a Division win this year. The Ghostriders Hockey Club and the fans will miss the exciting Traverse next year and wish him all the best in his future. Scott is planning on going to school in September and was named as one of the two players who received a $1000 scholarship from the Ghostriders Hockey Club. For the record Traverse won the MVP and Most Inspirational Awards last season.

Next up is the Most Inspirational Player Award won by a most inspirational player in Joe DeLuca. The same year as Scott Traverse came to the Riders another young Valley Boy also showed up as a fifteen year old AP and that was defenseman Joe DeLuca. Joe went the same route as Traverse and over time earned more and more ice and became one of the top D men eating up lots of minutes. DeLuca was a totally fearless player who would go into the corners first, make big hits, fight (another non-wrestler) and score a few goals along the way. Joe was the top scoring defenseman this year in the regular season and in the playoffs. In the last game of the year the Most Inspirational cut is nose so deeply he had to go to the hospital for several stitches but against Doctor’s orders was back on the ice in the third period and for the final shift of the season. Good luck in the future Joe, you were a pleasure to be around. More for the record- both DeLuca and Traverse won two KIJHL Championships and two Division titles.

This year’s Top Scorer was also named as the regular season’s Most Valuable Player. Three years ago in October a small but skilled player from the Calgary Midget AAA Royals showed up at the Riders camp. The young forward had an assist in his first game and since then Dave McIvor has never looked back. McIvor lead the Ghostriders in scoring for the last two years and he also lead the team in highlight reel style goals. Dave was a great scorer but he also sacrificed his body blocking shots at timely parts of the game. McIvor is finished junior now and is planning to go to school with Scott Traverse. (McIvor is the other recipient of the $1000 Ghostrider scholarship) Good luck Dave, your skills made you one of this writers favorite players to watch and you were a key part in two KIJHL Championships.

The Best Defenseman Award this year went to twenty year old Torin Brusven. Torin came to Fernie late in November after not playing for eight months and was a little rusty. But within a few weeks he turned into one of the most steady D men the Riders had by using is smart positioning and long reach to his advantage. Brusven had points in eight of the last ten games of the season and was a big factor in helping the Riders get second place in the standings and P/O wins over Golden and Kimberley. The Ghostriders organization wishes Torin all the best in the future.

The Most Improved Player Award went to seventeen year old first year defenseman Zach Traverse. Zach is a Valley Boy but came to the Riders from Cranbrook where he played AAA Midget last year. At the start Zach was in and out of the lineup but was mostly in after a trip to Merritt of the BCHL where he played a couple of games and came back a more confident player. Zach is the cousin of Scott Traverse but is much bigger making it improbable that he will be in a Rider uniform next season. Good luck at the next level Zach.

This year’s Rookie of the Year was also the Scholastic Player of the year too. Sixteen year old Jordan Hirano is one of the most dedicated players we’ve seen lately, this guy gives everything he’s got both on the ice and at the gym. (He’s pretty good in school too). On the ice Jordan punishes with big hits whoever has the puck and he skates full tilt right to the end of his shift all the way to the bench. Hirano has a shot at Jr.”A” and will be attending a few camps in the spring. Good Luck in the BCJ Jordan.

Jesse Niemi hadn’t played hockey for a year and a half before coming to Fernie in January. Niemi, a nineteen year old, worked like a slave in practice and at the gym and gradually earned a spot in the lineup. All the hard work paid off for both player and team as Jesse lead the Ghostriders in playoff scoring. Niemi also played in your face hockey in the post season and was named as the Playoff MVP this year. Have a great summer Jesse.

The Unsung Hero for the Ghostriders was defenseman Lee Klapp. Lee is the heavyweight champion of the KIJHL and his presence gave the Riders confidence all year long. There are times when your team loses, and times when your team loses and gets pushed around. With Klapp in the lineup no team even tried to push the Riders around. Lee played on the Championship winning 2006-07 team then went to Quesnell of the BCHL last year and at nineteen still has a year left. Have a great summer Lee, hope to see you in the fall.

The Most Sportsmanlike Player went to the skilled Karl Weberg. Karl was one of the most consistent scorers the Riders had getting 1.4 points a game and was on several occasions easily the best player on the ice. All year long it seemed like it was either Weberg, Traverse McIvor or Greenwell who was the best player and sometimes it was hard to tell. Karl is nineteen and has another year left, if he plays hockey I hope it’s here in Fernie.
Have a great summer to all the players.

Ghostriders play Nelson Tuesday night at 7:30 & Wednesday if necessary March 17, 2009

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, 2009

The Fernie Ghostriders are playing the Nelson Leafs in the Kootenay Conference final and the Sicamous Eagles play the Kamloops Storm in the Okanagan Conference final. (As of this writing it was 1-0 Kamloops) Because of time constraints the league voted to make these two series’ a best of five. You gotta wonder why the first series’ weren’t best of fives instead of the conference finals. It had to be a money decision, it most certanly was not a hockey decision.

Nelson has home ice in this series and played the first two games at home. In game one the Nelson Leafs caught the Riders off guard in the first period and quickly got out to a 3-0 lead. After that the Leafs locked down the jailhouse and held on for a 3-1 win. Karl Weberg scored the lone goal for the Ghostriders. In game two the Ghostriders kept it close for a while but lost 6-2 mostly on PP goals. One thing was unanimous in this game, both the Nelson and the Fernie radio guys were appalled at the refereeing. One thing you don’t usually see is top scorers fighting but on Sunday Leaf regular season top scorer Miles Houston and Ghostrider Captain Scott Traverse fought and were ejected at the start of the third.

For the record…Nelson defeated Spokane 4-1 and Castlegar 4-0 to get this far in the post season. The Leafs have home ice in this series because they were the top team in the KIJHL this year. They also scored the most goals with 248 and had the best goals against at 128. So far in the playoffs Dylan Walchuk who just turned seventeen last month is leading the Leafs in scoring with 17 points 11 games. Walchuk is also the KIJHL Rookie of the Year this year and is being actively recruited by both the BCHL and the WHL for next year. If he plays his cards right he’ll never have to pay a cent for his education. 20 year old center Brock Monroe is the Leafs second leading P/O scorer and Tom Rizzardo is their top scoring defenseman. Leaf Coach Simon Wheeldon was named as the KIJHL Coach of the Year and Garrett Beckwith was named as the Top Goaltender. The KIJHL had only one set of awards instead of four sets like they did last season making this year’s awards much more meaningfull.

Riders 6 Nitros 4 series at 1-1 March 8, 2009

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After losing an overtime 4-3 O/T heartbreaker on Friday night the Fernie Ghostriders got themselves back in the series (now at 1-1) with a 6-4 win over the Kimberley Dynamiters on Saturday.

Half way through a fairly even first period Ghostrider fans were caught off guard when the Nitro’s Cory Allen and Matt Foster each scored even strength goals about a minute apart to give Kimberley a 2-0 lead. But the fans and the Rider bench didn’t have to worry for very long. The Nitros took a couple of penalties and a hot Rider PP got them back in the game with two goals. Joe DeLuca (Brusven-S,Traverse) and Scott Traverse (Woiken – Deluca) each scored PP goals to tie the game at two. But the Nitros came to play and fought back with a goal of their own when Richard Hubscher scored a PP goal to make it 3-2 with just 28 seconds left on the clock. -photo Tim Crawley-

The second period featured even more goals with the first one coming three minutes in when Nitro Matt Foster scored his second of the game to make it 4-2. After that Tim Crawley (Bentley-Anderson) scored to make it 4-3 then on the PP Scott Traverse (DeLuca-Brusven) tied it up at 4 each. Dave McIvor (Hirano-Woiken) scored the most spectacular goal of the game when he skated around most of the Nitro’s in their end and fired in a backhand for what turned out to be the game winner.

The only goal in the third was Tim Crawley’s (Bilodeau-Z-Traverse) second of the game to make it 6-4. -photo Joe DeLuca-

Odds and ends.
880 fans Saturday and 1000 on FridayThe Ghostriders thank you….Lots of lead changes in the first half of the game and you never really knew who was going to win this one until McIvor’s goal with five minutes left in the second….The Riders took over after that and only allowed the Nitro’s 2 shots in the third… They didn’t get the proverbial sniff…. My dog had a better one this morning….Both goalies Jason Greenwell and Tory Caldwell let in goals they would want back but they both made great saves too…Nitro star Leo Keefer had 3 points in the first game but was held to one assist in game two, Matt Foster scored some big goals against the Riders in the regular season and had 2 goals in game two…Rider Defenseman Joe DeLuca had a goal and an assist in game one and followed it up with a goal and 2 assists in game two… Jesse Niemi is leading the team in scoring (did anyone see this coming) And he’s learned some in your face hockey…Tim Crawley has 3 goals in 7 games and has had several big hits ….The Rider PP was 3-5 and team Captain Scotty Traverse was in on all three…As was Joe DeLuca…Say what you will but this writer is an Adam Taylor fan…Adam plays within his abilities, finishes his checks, clears pucks, gets pucks in deep, makes the other teams players hate him and he sticks up for teammates….Also… unlike in the regular season, thus far in the P/O’s Taylor hasn’t made his team shorthanded even once. –photo Adam Taylor

Ghostriders win their series agains Golden March 2, 2009

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The Ghostriders defeated the Golden Rockets by a 5-3 score Sunday March 1st to end their series with the Golden Rockets at 4 games to 1. The Rockets were worthy opponents and all the games were close down to the wire one goal (except for the last one) games that either team could have won.

Coach Will Verner had this to say about the series win. “That was a tough, tough playoff series. The Golden Rockets played physical, hard, in your face hockey 60 minutes, 5 straight games. They have more skill than many will give them credit for and all of their players play with courage and heart. We did have a good record against them but 11 out of the 12 games were decided by 1 goal and the final Sunday night was 3-2 going into the 3rd period. Winning is so important for our hockey club and to win in 5 games gives us a rest and time to recover and rejuvenate. We have just played 8 grueling games in 10 nights. “

The Ghostriders came up with a total team effort in the series with 14 players getting at least a point. It was also a great defensive effort too where the skaters and Jason Greenwell only allowed 11 goals against in five games. Karl Weberg and Jesse Niemi lead the forwards in scoring with 6 points each and Torin Brusven with 3 points was the top scoring D man. photo- Karl Weberg

ALSO… every Ghostrider player and Coach should know that the fans noticed and appreciated the discipline the players showed in this series, especially after some of the cheap shots they took without retaliation. We anxiously await the winner of Creston and Kimberley. But you know we really hate Kimberley.

Anyway… Here’s Coach Verner with some final thoughts on just what it took to win the series. Verner. “Experience, depth and will to win definitely helped our hockey club. Our goaltender was very consistent each night and made very timely saves at crucial parts of the series. Our defense led by Torin Brusven played strong and limited their top players each and every game. Up front we had great leadership from Scott and Dave. We had many hero’s in the series as you can go down our roster and look at the importance that each player brings to our line-up. This series definitely brought our team closer together and started to teach some of our players the sacrifice it takes to win. We will use our time off wisely and we look forward to our next series which should be great hockey for the fans to watch”. photo- Dave McIvor-

And finally. At the end of the final game of the Golden series when the game was out of reach Rocketman Zach Baba found a magic lamp and rubbed it then had one of his three wishes granted when he got to fight Lee Klapp. The Ghostriders reigning heavyweight champ promptly won a unanimous decision but huge credit to Baba for getting a couple in and having the guts to go against the older and larger Klapp. Especially after he was pounded with a thunderous hit from Tim Crawley earlier in the game. Baba has been the Rockets policeman for a couple of years now and chalked up 317 PIM’s this year. He probably would have had more minutes but had to share the PIM’s with Cody Sutherland earlier in the season before he left the team. For the record as a sixteen year old last season Baba racked up 466 PIM. -photo Lee Klapp-