Thursday, 28 January 2016

Riders have the Rockies in Fernie Friday night... and the usual

Friday’s Game January 29th

The Ghostriders
play the Columbia Valley Rockies Friday then travel to Creston on Saturday. These two games will be a test for the shorthanded Riders who are missing three key guys and have a losing record against the Rockies (1-5 ) but are 2-2 against the second place Thunder Cats.

The Riders really need to play the Rockies and Cats with all their top guns to find out just where they stand in the Eddie Mountain pecking order... but it won't be on  Friday or Saturday.

Injuries etc, Kyle Haugo has missed the last few games but has been skating and is likely for Friday, Ryan Teslak will be available after serving a one game suspension for a second fight in the same stoppage of play in the Spokane game. Alex Cheveldave, Zach Befus and Cole Keebler tell me they are out this weekend but Befus will skate next week, the good news... Keagan Kingwell is back in for the weekend.

After last weekend the fourth place Rockies with 48 points were 4 points behind the third place Riders in the standings. They are definitely not the same Rockies team that didn't even make the playoffs last season, and they even have a top scorer in the lineup, Micheal Cardinal with 58 points is in third place in KIJHL scoring. 

The Rockies who are here in Fernie Friday night played two games last weekend, they lost 4-2 in Kimberley last Friday but won 5-2 at home against the first place in their Division, Beaver Valley Nite Hawks on Saturday... they are now 8-2 in their last 10 games.

On Saturday the boys go to Creston who have a Jekyll-Hyde personality this season, one day they beat Kimberley, Beaver Valley etc then the next day they lose to Golden. They are 6-4 in their last 10 and have top scorer Alec Wilkinson in the lineup with 59 points and tied for second in KI scoring. Creston lost their last game 4-3 Tuesday night in Kimberley and hopefully will get softened up again when they play in Beaver Valley Friday night. 

The Creston game is a Drive 99.1 scheduled Broadcast Game

The Schedule won't get much better for the Riders next weekend either when they travel to Kimberley next Friday then host Creston here in Fernie Saturday. On Monday Feb 8th (Family Day) the Riders play Kimberley here in Fernie and this game has the weird 2 PM start time. 

Oddity's... the referee in Spokane was literally knocked out in the second period when he fell and the linesmen had to take over the game. Coach Mohr was in the stands in  Grand Forks serving game two of his suspension. The Riders lost 3-0 and went 0-9 on the PP but were 8-0 on the PK. " I had no issue with the referee they were all penalties, he did a good job" 
You don't usually hear them coaches say that after a loss, Mohr was also pretty good (and calm) as a colour man on Howie Ashmore's Drive 99.1 radio broadcast as well.

Last Weekend

The Ghostriders won 5-0 last Friday in Spokane, Jeff Orser got the shutout (his second of the year) and Mitch Titus (97) picked up a goal and 3 assists. His biggest junior game yet. Great job Jeff and Mitch. Justin Peers had another good night with  2G 1A and Colton Dawson picked up 1G 2A . Travis Thomsen scored the other goal and Coaches Jeff Zmurckyk and Pascal Morency  picked up their first W on the season with Coach Craig Mohr sitting in the stands after he barked a little too loud at the referee in Golden a couple of weeks ago. Mohr will be back on the bench this weekend. 

On Saturday with 15 skaters the Riders had their four game win streak broken when they lost lost 3-0 in Grand Forks. Despite getting 41 shots they just couldn’t get one past Bruin goalie Galliard. Brandon Butler was in net in the Forks and the Riders have a 5-4-0-1 record in their last 10 games. 

Say what you will but the players love it when there are only 15 skaters, lots of ice for all... the coaches, on the other hand have a different take on a short bench.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Riders win 3 in a row and a few other things

The Ghostriders won both of their games last weekend and have now won 3 in a row. They won 5-2 here in Fernie against Nelson and 4-1 in Golden. And a good thing they won as the Rockies also won both of their games, 5-2 in Kimberley and 5-4 in Creston. The Rockies are a much improved team this season getting wins in them barns...They are just 4 points behind the Riders and the Riders are just 1 point behind Creston for second place with 12 games and 24 points still up for grabs.

 The win at home came with the $ price tag of Zach Befus who had 6 points in his last 3 games but was injured when he tried to make a hit near the penalty box area in the Nelson game, he played the next night in Golden scoring a goal but may miss this weekend's games.

The win in Golden was not on special either and the Riders paid full price losing Cole Keebler who was injured on an uncalled hit by Sean Ripley that so infuriated Coach Mohr that he got two games for abuse of officials. A charge that he denies saying... I know how to abuse officials and that was nothing.

I don't know if that's good or bad but I do know, and have said before, the referees can't see everything and the best we can hope for is they get most of the calls but get all of the majors that hurt players.

So the Riders go into Spokane Friday then on to Grand Forks Saturday then home to Columbia Valley next Friday January 29th. Grand Forks will be interesting as they are neck and neck with Nelson for third place so will be ready for a battle Saturday. For the record GF is in Kelowna Friday and both Rider games are Drive 99.1 Radio Broadcast Games.

Evan Reid was named as the Riders Player of the Week for last weekend. He played hard and made a couple of nice passes resulting in two goals in the Nelson game. Mack Differenz was named as the Practice Player of the Week as well. Mack looked good in his first games back from injury, he was wearing a cage after losing some teeth in practice last week... just in case you were wondering.  Hopefully he is healthy for the rest of the season now.

We're happy to see Coleton Dawson back for the weekend after serving his suspension, things can get hairy on the road  and he's a good one to have in the lineup.

The Rider power play was on display in Golden with three goals, but it has been sputtering lately, they were # one in the KIJHL  for a while but have slipped  to third with 44 goals, BV leads with 53.

The Riders are second in shorthanded goals with 9, Cole Keebler has 5, Evan Reid, Tayler Sincennes, Ryan Kennedy and Ty Carron each have one. Summerland with 11 leads all teams. The Riders have allowed 6 shorthanded goals as well, only Castlegar and Kimberley have yet to surrender a shorthanded goal.

I hear scouts from three Colleges are set to watch the Riders play in Spokane. They had a keen interest in Cole Keebler for one but will be there watching the rest of the guys. Rider fans should remember  all-star goalie Jason Greenwell ,  he played 217 KIJHL games and won a Championship with the Riders in the 2007-08 season. Jason is now the Head Coach of the BCIHL's  Eastern Washington Eagles and he is very interested in Jeff Orser, so the betting is he will get the start in Spokane.

As long as were talking about College's, Creston's Head Coach and General Manager Jeff Dubois was recently picked for the 2006-2016 BCIHL All Decade Team as a builder. The players and builders list is here    Dubois won the BCIHL Championship twice in a row with Selkirk before taking the job in Creston two years ago. Glad to see a "friend of the blog" get recognized.

Rider's new jerseys hanging in the "Room"

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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Riders win 5-2 against Nelson

9 AM Saturday Jan 16 

The Riders picked up a 5-2 win over the Nelson Leafs Friday night.

Despite outshooting Nelson 23-8 the Riders found themselves down 1-0 at the end of the first. Sam Webber scored the Leaf goal.

 Pat Ostermann (97) was the difference in the Leaf net in the first but he couldn't stop the Riders in the second when in less than five minutes they had fired three behind him. Tayler Sincennes from Evan Reid and Ryan Kennedy scored first then  the line of  Justin Peers, Zach Befus and Cole Keebler scored their first followed up by  Ryan Kennedy's line with their second, Kennedy from Evan Reid and Tayler Sincennes.
Nelson's Blair Andrews from Brendan Smith  closed the gap a bit on the power play and the second ended 3-2 for the Riders. Again the shots were in the Riders favour at 19-13.

The Riders ended the game with a pair of goals in the third, Keebler's line scored their second of the game, Cole Keebler from Justin Peers and Zach Befus then they were at it again when D Ryan Teslak scored with Keebler and Befus picking up assists.

The final shot count was 57-32, Brandon Butler got the start in net for the Riders picking up his fifth win of the season. The Riders shots would have been much higher but they missed the net quite a few time on high % shots and hit the iron a few times as well.

With a goal and an assist Kennedy was the player of the game. Keebler with a goal and 2 assists finds himself in second place in KIJHL scoring

AND the Riders find themselves no further ahead as the Columbia Valley Rockies went into Kimbo and won 5-2 and Creston won 5-1 against Golden.

The Riders are in Golden tonight, this is a Drive 99.1 radio broadcast game with Howie Ashmor at the wheel.
Meanwhile the Rockies are in Creston... hope they tie.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Riders Play Nelson Friday Night Here inFernie... and a few other friendly type things

Friday's Game Vs Nelson

The Ghostriders play the Nelson Leafs Friday, this is the second time this season these two teams have played, the Riders played in Nelson way back on September 12th, their second game of the year, and won 4-3 .  

The Leafs have undergone some big changes lately, just before Christmas they removed Dave McLellan from their coaching staff and brought in Mario DiBella as Head Coach and GM along with former Leaf all-star defensemen Isaac MacLeod as their assistant coach. 
Nelson has a lot of work to do as former the HC  burned up several cards leaving the Leafs shorthanded and he also managed to get charged with tampering resulting in a $5000 fine to the Nelson organization. 

At the deadline the Leafs brought in F Cleary Ambrose and reinstated defenceman Brendan Smith who former HC and GM McLellan had sent home in December for off ice issues... (like in that song) the irony is killing me... off ice issues including tampering,running up expenses, burning, cards etc is why McLellan was sent home

Last Week 
The Ghostriders lost 6-5 to Invermere last Friday then won 3-2 in Golden on Saturday.

Last Friday against the  Rockies the Riders were down 5-3 in the third but fought back with goals by Mitch Titus and Tayler Sincennes only to have a controversial goal scored on them with :01 left on the clock. Many fans in that area of the rink said it went in after time had run out, and the goal judge wasn't consulted. AnywayTy Carron, Cole Keebler and Evan Reid (SH) scored the other goals and Jeff Orser was in net.

On Saturday in Golden the Riders were down 2-1 in the second before Justin Peers and Zach Befus scored the game tying and game winning goals. Jeff Orser had the win in net and Cole Keebler scored the first goal short handed.

Both Justin Peers and Cole Keebler had 5 points last weekend and Keebler was named by the Coaches as their Tim Horton’s Player of the Week. Trevor Broad was the McDonald’s Practice Player.

The Ghostriders did not make any changes at the deadline, Coach Craig Mohr “If I ever get a full roster it will be like bringing in three new players. You can see what he means below...

Injuries, Alex Cheveldave, (broken finger) and Mack Differenz (hand) are both unlikely for this weekend. Coleton Dawson will serve game two of his three game suspension he got last Friday against the Rockies for a hit from behind . Expecting D Keagan Kingwell back in the lineup for the weekend, he will be welcome. 

Round the League

The Riders are in a dogfight with Creston and Columbia Valley for 2-3-4th place, Creston was dealt a blow on the 10th when the OCN Blizzard of the MJHL dealt Colby Livingstone's player rights to the Canmore Eagles of the AJHL. Livingstone was traded to OCN in November by Victoria but chose not to report and went home to Creston where he rang up 12 goals and 7 assists in 12 games.  In Canmore Livingstone will be teamed up with former Kimberley Dynamiter standouts Coy Prevost and Braden Saretsky...  but he's going anyway... oh shut up it was a joke...He's on another line

A few but not all the trades are below, not all the moves are posted because teams don't have to post them if they don't care about their fans. Kimberley lost Brendan Benson, he wore #7 when they last played here, reports say he just quit, but he was only 19, I suspect he's playing somewhere and hear a few teams tried to get him. Highest bidder ?...Osoyoos got G Stephen  Heslop from Princeton and Summerland traded Jake Mullen (95) to Campbell River for G Matt Kostiw... there were many more and Surrey tried to get probably 20 ... a small ratio but they did lure a few KIJHL'ers for their last place team ... Zach Befus wasn't one of them... he could have been , Kamloops lost a couple but gained Mitch Friesen who was very good last season when he played in the Loops.

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Rockies are in town Tonight Jan 8- Game Day Update

Friday Night’s Game
The Ghostriders play the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday January 8th here in Fernie. This will be the sixth time this year these two teams have played and so far the Rockies lead the eight game series four games to one. 

The Ghostriders have caught up to the Rockies in games played in the last couple of weeks and with just 4 points separating the teams Friday's game is important for the Riders... and for the Rockies.... and for that matter Creston who lost 6-1 in Kimbo Tuesday and are not immune to a fourth place finish.

The Rockies are on a 4 game win streak and with 40 points are just 4 behind the Riders. Both teams have a 5-3-0-2 record in their last 10 games.

The Rockies have added Doan Smith (full story last post) and last night they sent me a note saying that they brought int Mario Campanella who was in Kimberley for the last couple of years. Rider fans should remember him, he played a chippy gritty style but had trouble getting much ice time in Kimbo. His style may fit right in with the Rockies. See him tonight he will be wearing # 11.

The Riders injury problems are still a problem with F/D Alex Cheveldave, Keagan Kingwell and Mack Differenz out with hand and head injuries.

On the bright side Cole Keebler is back in the lineup after missing about a month, he is as they say still getting his timing back. Nolan Lagace has had 8 points in his last 7 games. Justin Peers has been chipping in with a goal every other game or so and with 41 points now has one more than last season. Zach Befus is playing injured and went two games without a point... he's only done that one other time, and Ryan Kennedy works harder than just about everyone and plays centre like all coaches envision their C to play. 

Tayler Sincennes was the Riders Boston Pizza Player of the Month, Dustin Watt was the Tim Horton's Player of the Week and Dan Burgess was the McDonalds Practice Player of the Week. Honourable mention to D Travis Thomsen who seems to be playing as well as I've seen him lately. Coach Mohr says he "competes as hard as any player I've ever coached" 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Riders play the Rockies this Friday, and few other things

Friday Night’s Game
The Ghostriders play the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday January 8th here in Fernie. This will be the sixth time this year these two teams have played and so far the Rockies lead the eight game series four games to one. The Rockies will play the last two games of the regular season series here in Fernie on January 29th and February 12th. The last time these two teams played was Dec 4th in Invermere, the Riders Jeff Orser shutout the Rockies 1-0, Ryan Kennedy scored the only goal.

The Ghostriders have caught up to the Rockies in games played in the last couple of weeks and with just 4 points separating the teams Friday's game is important for the Riders... and for the Rockies and for that matter Creston who lost 6-1 in Kimbo Tuesday and are not immune to a fourth place finish. Credit out to that Haase (96) kid with 4G 1A in that game.


As you can see above, Fernie, Kimberley and Creston have all clinched playoff spots, the Rockies will clinch shortly due to Golden’s terrible 4-30-1-2 record.The fourth place team will play Kimberley in the first round of the KIJHL playoffs starting somewhere around February 23rd- March 2nd.

The Riders have won and lost close games against both Kimberley and Creston so who do you want...   There are still 16 more games and 32 points up for grabs so anything is possible including a first round matchup against the Rockies. 

The Rockies went 5-3-0-2 in their last 10 games and their top scorer is Michale Cardinal with 23 goals and 24 assists, their Head Coach is Wade Dubielewicz and Ross Bidinger is the GM. 

The Rockies also have former Rider Doan Smith back in the lineup. Smith was traded here last season when the Rockies were essentially out of the playoffs giving him a chance to play in the post season. Unfortunately for Smith he was injured before the playoffs and only got to play the last four games when what he really needed a few more games to get up to his full potential again. Anyway, as part of the deal Smith was allowed to return to the Rockies this season if he wanted to. Read more here 

The next big day for all players and teams is January 10th when everyone has to be down to 23 players and cards. If you keep a card you can sign any player who is unsigned (was cut at the deadline) until Feb 10th. Sometimes that also happens with injured players who were released pre Jan 10th.

The Ghostriders last two games were on New Year’s Eve in Creston and Jan 2nd here in Fernie. On NYE the Riders came back from a 3-0 deficit when Mitch Titus, Dustin Watt and Aidan Wilson scored in the third to tie the game for a point, but they lost 4-3 in the OT. Brandon Butler was in net. 

On January 2nd the Riders played Creston here in Fernie in another close game that saw the boys down 2-1 before Creston scored into the empty net.Justin Peers scored the lone goal and Jeff Orser was in net. The Riders have a 5-3-0-2 record in their last 10 games.

The Boston Pizza Player of the Month is Tayler Sincennes. Coach Craig Mohr says “ Tayler is one of the hardest workers on the team, plays every shift against other teams top lines and he is a penalty killing assassin.

The Ghostriders are in Golden Saturday and it is a scheduled Drive 99.1 Radio Broadcast game.  

Next Friday we see the new look Nelson Leafs who just finished revamping their Coaching staff and brought in Mario DiBella to run their team... Interestingly, the new look Leafs are now friends with Creston GM Jeff Dubois after he helped them move a player to the Island. Now that it's out there in public... it was Dubois who reported the Leafs for using ineligible players last season costing them a good playoff spot and several points in the standings You can read that here - near the end of the story 
But what you won't read... but you can if you can read between the lines... is that if the former Leaf HC Dave McLellan was still in charge... that last story about helping the Leafs would never have happened.
The Leafs are now undergoing some sort of a healing process... you can read that story here and also learn about hot knife'n...  read more here