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Fernie Ghostriders 1-1 with Castlegar March 10, 2011

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With a 5-2 win this Tuesday the Ghostriders evened their series with the Castlegar Rebels at one game apiece.

Rider forward Connor McLaughlin from Connor Morgan and Michael Anderson scored the first goal just 48 seconds into the game then a couple of minutes later Cale Wright from Scott Morisseau and Luke Richardson scored on the power play and the Riders never looked back. Alex Milhouse from Jordan Hirano and Jeff Zmurchyk ended the period with another goal for a 3-0 lead.

At the start of the second Rebel penalty killers Spencer Brodt and Ryan Aynsley teamed up for a short handed goal but the Riders who learned a thing or two from playing Creston scored their fourth goal with just :32 left on the clock. Scott Morisseau from Jeff Zmurchyk and Luke Richardson scored the PP goal.

In the third Tyler Robinson from Anthony Delong scored yet another Rebel short handed goal but a few minutes later Scott Morisseau picked up a rebound from a Mark Strachan shot to make it 5-2.

The Ghostriders are in Castlegar for 2 games and them home Monday March 14th at 7:30pm for Game 5. Come out and support your team!

Ghostriders Coach Verner Talks March 7, 2011

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Coach Why do you think that Creston, who finished 30 points behind and scored almost 100 less goals in the regular season ,was able to put up such a battle with your team in round 2.– Thomas Abenante was named as the player of the Creston series.

Verner – “Creston’s team was built for the playoffs and probably in their mind they underachieved during the regular season. When Creston played tough meaningful games they played well. Dropping games to teams below them in the standings early in the year hurt their regular season stats. We played them 8 games during the season and they beat us 3 games in a row. 3 of the 5 games we won were by 1 goal and the two lopsided games saw them play without several of their key players.

Rider News – Scott Morisseau lost his stick but still made some heroic shot blocks in the second period  on a penalty kill in game seven. What did that do for your bench when a top scorer sacrifices like that.?

Verner  – “Scott came to play. It was very difficult for him this series as he had to play against one of the top “D” men in the league most shifts. He scored some big goals and made some great passes. The two shots he blocked in the PK in my mind changed the game and won the series for us. When his teammates saw him sacrifice the way he did to block a shot with his teeth and not miss a shift I think it had a great effect on our club”.

Rider News – You named Thomas Abenante as the player of the series and he was outstanding up front but on “D” Jeff Zmurchyk was a rock game in and game out.

Verner – Thomas had a great series. Pursued the puck very well and competed everywhere. Thomas and Jeff were the hardest working guys on the ice each and every shift Zmurchyk is our anchor on the back and played his best game in game 7.”

Rider News – How do you think you match up vs Castlegar ?

Should be a great series. They work extremely hard and have some real high end skill players. I think if we can compete the way we competed in game 7 against Creston we will be a hard team to beat.

Riders win Game Seven 3-1 March 6, 2011

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The Ghostriders won game seven at home vs the Creston Thunder Cats by a 3-1 score. The third goal was into an empty net. Scott Morisseau from Luke Richardson and Cale Wright scored the first goal 8:44 into the first period and Johnny Park from Jeff Zmurchyk scored the second goal at the 14:52 mark of the second period. Creston put a scare into the Riders and their 1047 fans when Colton Meaden from Trevor LeBlanc and Ryan Hewitt finally beat Andrew Walton with 2:40 left on the clock but couldn’t beat him again and Josh Garneau from Thomas Abenante fired one into the empty net with 2 seconds remaining.

The teams were evenly matched for most of this game and Creston forced Rider goalie Andrew Walton to play the best game I’ve seen him play. Walton stopped a few almost certain Creston goals… The Riders won this game with out using their deadly power play, Creston never took even one penalty…. On the other side of it Fernie at 3-0 was perfect on the penalty kill… That’s good news going ahead… The Riders also blocked several shots… Scott Morisseau made a memorable effort in the second with out his stick on a penalty kill… It was like a 5 on 3 W/O the stick but Morisseau’s heroic effort was a difference maker.

If Creston played like they did in this series all year, they may have challenged the Riders for first place…and had game seven in Creston….I don’t know if the Riders would have won in Creston…. But it’s extremely hard, actually it’s impossible, to go like that for 50 games…. In a local newspaper interview Cat Coach Joe Martin said “Every day this year, they’re getting up at 6 a.m. and going for a run,” “They’re definitely hungry for it.”… Fitness was certainly not a problem… Creston was going as hard at the end of game seven as they were in game one. … The difference all year in the standings and in the series was that Fernie has the top scoring game breakers that Creston doesn’t have… Weston Joseph didn’t hurt Creston either….You could argue that this was such a close hard fought series that both teams wanted badly to win was because the players and their coaches hate each other after their February 4th almost 400 PIM and suspension filled game…

This was the hardest Fernie had had to work in an Eddie Mountain series in years…. Last year the Riders won 8 in a row to win the Eddie Mountain Division… including 4 straight over Creston.

Ghostriders take a 3-2 series lead March 5, 2011

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The Ghostriders won game five by a 3-1 score. This was another very close game with a limited amount great scoring chances. Limited meaning compared to most of the games in the regular season when the Riders get an armful of them. In the first period Fernie out shot Creston 12-7 and forced Weston Joseph to make a couple of great saves but is was Creston’s Robbie Stuckey from Brock Ward who scored the only goal.

In the second Creston took a couple of penalties and February’s KIJHL Player of the Month, Scott Morisseau scored two goals. Luke Richardson was in on both of them and Cale Wright had an assist on the second. In the third Jeff Zmurchyk from Thomas Abenante and Luke Richardson scored the only goal to make it 3-1.

The difference the Rider power play was 2-5 … and the Rider penalty kill was perfect and really kept Creston away, Creston went 0-3 on the PP… No pretty goals in this one, no nice on the rush passing plays that end up in the net …but the Riders did get a couple of deflected point shots…On Fernie’s last goal there was a scrum in front of Creston’s net that saw Creston D men literally tackle and throw down Ghostriders …. But they forgot about the puck and Jeff Zmurchuk found it and himself alone for the third goal.. Best part of the game was the last five minutes or so when Creston opened it up a bit to try and score… lots of back and forth scoring chances by both teams… Andrew Walton let in a weak goal in the first, but after that he was as good as anyone and made a few really great saves to preserve the win. Robbie Stuckey was hit in the face with a puck around the Fernie net and probably needed several stitches.

Scott Morisseau with 2 goals was the first star, Luke Richardson had an assist on every goal and Cody Antos was the third star.

The teams play in Creston tonight. If the Rider’s win the series is finished, if not, they will return to Fernie for the 7th game. The winner of this series plays Castlegar. Stay tunes for more great hockey!

Ghostriders Creston series tied at 2 March 2, 2011

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The Ghostriders got off to a slow start and were down 2-0 in the first four minutes of the first period on goals from Creston’s Jovi Fabbri and Rob Stuckey but they kept on battling and it finally paid off in the second period when Connor McLaughlin from Thomas Abenante and Evan Burgess opened up the gates and finally beat Weston Joseph . A couple of minutes later it was  Thomas Abenante from Connor McLaughlin tying up the game at 2-2 then the Riders pulled ahead when Abenante scored his second, but this time it was on the PP when he was reunited with his first round partners Luke Richardson and Scott Morisseau.

So with the Ghostriders leading 3-2 and just when the Rider fans and players alike were starting to feel good about themselves… Creston’s Trevor LeBlanc from Cody Antos and Colton Meaden scored and tied the game with just 00:03 left on the clock.

The Riders didn’t let the late goal bring them down and they started gaining momentum and finally about half way through the third Connor Morgan scored a battlers goal in a scrum in front of the net to make it 4-3. A few minutes later Connor McLaughlin was nabbed with a hooking call and Creston went to work on the PP but Andrew Walton stood tall and made a few big game saving saves. It stayed 4-3 until the last couple of minutes then Creston pulled their goalie for the man advantage but Thomas Abenante scored into the empty net to make it 5-3. So figuring the game was over, Brandon Formosa , like he did in game # 1, took a late get even penalty and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. But the game wasn’t over and Creston , with Joseph on the bench, surprised everyone including some of the crowd who were leaving the rink by scoring a short-handed goal to make it 5-4 with 00:55 left on the clock. Alex McDougall from Cody Antos and Scott Swiston scored the SH goal . Almost a full minute left was left in the game but Creston was still short handed and with an empty net so Luke Richardson fired one into the aforementioned empty net for the 6-4 win.


Thomas Abenante was the first star…. Cat Cody Antos with 2 A the second star and Connor McLaughlin who is proving to be a most valuable player in these hard fought tight checking games was the third star 585 fans in Creston, great to see …. Lucky for the Riders at least one Creston.

The Fernie Ghostriders lost game three Tuesday night in Creston by a 2-1 score. The Riders looked good in the first and seemed to be on their game but slowed down after that and weren’t able get in close all that much, and when they did they were stoned by Joseph. They also wasted some of their shots by missing the net. So it boiled down to this Fernie’s best players weren’t their best players . Their one goal was by defenseman Jeff Zmurchyk, who converted a nice Jordie Cool pass while on a 2 on 1. Mark Strachan had the other assist.

Weston Joseph was the first star stopping 40 of 41 and Andrew Walton the second star stopping 29 of 31. Creston’s Ryan Hewitt scored the game winner late in the second. Although the Riders outshot Creston they also allowed several good scoring chances and Walton had to be good. His post’s and cross bars helped him a couple of times too.

Once again the Riders will have to regroup and get a win at home Thursday night and again on Friday in Creston. Game seven would be in Fernie on Saturday.

Elsewhere last night.

Castlegartakes a 3-1 series lead with a 3-2 win in Beaver Valley. Taylor Andersonhas a goal and 2 A in that one. The Rebels out shot BV 26-14.

Osoyoos remains a perfect 8-0 in the 2011 playoffswith a 5-0 win in Kelowna.. The Coyotes spread out the scoring and Thierry Martinewas the only player to get 2 points last night. They now await the Revelstoke Kamloops series, Revelstoke leads Kamloops 3-1 now and will be in Revelstoke tonight.