Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Weekly Roundup

The Big News 
The big Rider news this week is that # 8 Josh McCulloch is going up to the Alberta Junior Hockey League to play with the Jr "A" Calgary Mustangs.

 Number 8 has scored 25 goals and had 11 assists in 26 games with the Riders, those are great totals for a player in his first season of junior.  Coach Mohr says if it doesn't work out with the Mustangs he still has 2 cards left and McCulloch will still have a place to play.

Here we hope he ends up in the right situation, as a shooter he needs to play with guys who can get him the puck, playing on a fourth line or something like that would be a waste of a player like McCulloch.

Last Weekend
The Riders had a very successful road trip and won all three of their games, 4-2 in Osoyoos, 5-3 in Princeton and 8-4  in Grand Forks, giving them a pretty good 9-4-0-1 road record. 

So easily the most anticipated game in the KIJHL last weekend was on Friday night in Osoyoos with the visiting Fernie Ghostriders in town. 

The Coyotes hit the ice looking for revenge after losing 4-3 in overtime in Fernie back on Nov 1st and they even managed to throw a scare into the Riders  when they scored the first goal just nine seconds into the game.  But there was no panic on the Rider bench and by the end of the second period it was the Ghostriders who had battled to a hard-fought  2-1 lead. 

Midway through the third the Coyotes tied it up but a few minutes later Sam Plaquin (photo) from Cole Keebler and Aaron Neufeld on the power play scored what would turn out to be the game winner.  Spencer Bender iced the game with an insurance goal  and the Riders got an emotional 4-2 road win. 

The shots were 39-35 for Osoyoos and Rider goalie Jeff Orser was named as their player of the game after making several big time saves.  The other goal scorers were Joel Burgess (the 1st goal and he had 1A) and Dylan Robertson (the 2-1 go ahead goal) 

Coyotes had goals by Rory Neary (Coyote's Player of the Game) and Colten Braid (tying goal in the 2nd) Lawrence Langdon was in net.

So after the weekend the Coyotes at 25-5-0-0-1 are still the first overall team in the league with 51 points, but the Riders are right behind them with a 22-4-1-0-1 record and they have three games in hand. Even with my Sesame Street dropout math skills it looks like Fernie could almost catch em in the standings. 

For the record,  Fernie and Sicamous (Oct 10th) are the only teams to win a game in Osoyoos. 

On Saturday in Princeton the Riders got a 5-3 win. They were down 3-2 at the half way mark but turned it on and scored the last 3 goals in a row. McCulloch scored the tying goal then Justin Peers led the way with the last 2 goals, he also had an assist on the tying goal. Doan Smith  had a goal and 2 assists and was picked as the player of the game and Tayler Sincennes also had a goal as well.  Jeff Orser got his 15th win in net.

On Sunday in Grand Forks the weary Riders gave up 3 goals early in the first then scored 5 in a row, 3 in the third, to win the game 8-4. Josh McCulloch and Aaron Neufeld each had 2 goals and 2 assists while Sam Plaquin and Joel Burgess  had a goal and 2 assists each. Neufeld was the player of the game and Derek Georgopoulos and Spencer Bender  scored the other goals.   Brandon Butler got his chance and a win in net.

Not to be outdone by the boring Riders Bruin forward Brandon Savala  who was mad at the refs for a non call I guess, threw his stick way out on the ice "helicoptered it" was how it was described to me. He got a Gross for his Wright Brother's demonstration and that means either  3 or 6 games.

William Lightfoot did not play last weekend because GM Craig Mohr couldn't get him carded in time, he will play this weekend. Jason Yan and David Kelly both missed the weekend because of the flu.

I see at practice Coach Mohr still uses an old style wooden stick... says it great cause when he's back in Calgary he can chain it to the steering wheel of his SUV and use it as "The Club" so no one steals his car...

Round the League

You may have noticed an extra 0 in the team records we just showed, it is for defaulted games of which Nelson and Kelowna each lost 2 points for playing ineligible players. Kelowna's default came after they beat Osoyoos 5-0 (their best game of the year).  It would sure be a piss-off for a team to miss out on first place overall because of the 2 points they were awarded.

Former Rider HC and GM Barry Wolff  was in Calgary last weekend as a guest coach and was part of the Hockey Canada - Team West-World Junior "A" Selection Camp. That camp sure would have been fun to watch.

The Kamloops Storm and the 100 Mile House Wranglers have played regular season games against each other in Quesnel and most recently in Williams Lake. Storm GM and KIJHL mover and shaker and Franchise Committee maker Barry Dewar was  interviewed last week where he said the KIJHL is definitely looking at having teams in Williams Lake and Quesnel, but that both towns would have to join to make it work.

The article also mentioned that there are rumors  that some BCHL teams may want to leave and join the very much less expensive to play in KIJHL.
FYI -Quesnel and Williams Lake used to have BCHL teams but  went broke playing in that league... but they may want to try the KIJHL. 
Dewar and his buddy Tom Bachynski from 100 Mile House dearly want a couple of closer games to save on travel costs. 

The article also said the KIJHL Franchise fee is $150000, as part of the Ghostrider organization since 1992, doing everything from security to bus driving along with several years on the Board of Directors, I can tell you it would take a lot longer than my time left on earth to payoff  $150000. Anyway you can read the full story  HERE  

I think a BCHL franchise is somewhere around $ 6-7 hundred thousand dollars but Im told in the right circumstance you could sell one for a million... go figure out how to pay that loan off.

 Kelowna tells us that  Nic Josephs, who we talked about last week will play his first games this weekend.

Former Rider Kale Johnston scored a goal in his first game with the Rockies, way to go Kale...

 Also, it appears that the Columbia Valley Rockies have moved two players up to Jr "A" and Goalie Brody Nelson to Kamloops where he got a shutout in his first Storm game. This is from their web site
Sam Young
Rockies leading points getter; Forward #22, Sam Young, stays with his Club, but we offer big congratulations on his being signed as an AP with the BCJHL Surrey Eagles...

Allan Mac Pherson
The Columbia Valley Rockies offers Big Congratulations to Rockies #8 - Defence man, Allan MacPherson who has left us to play Jnr A in the AJHL with Lloydminster Bobcats - Best of luck with everything for the future, Allan - your skill and determination will be missed by all of us....

Next up, Beaver Valley is in Fernie on Teddy Bear toss night this Saturday and on Sunday Invermere is in town and if you bring a non-perishable food item you get into the  Invermere game for a Toonie. No pressure... but I'm picking D man Dustin Watt to score the goal to release the Teddy Bears Friday, it will be his first goal.

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