The Riders couldn't pull off a win in Sparwood and lost 5-2 (1 EN G) to the Kimberley Dynamiters. The Riders finished up the season in 4th place with a 27-20-0-0-5 record and 59 points, one behind the Rockies who finished up their season in Creston with a 6-3 win, third place, and a date with Creston in the playoffs.
The Riders get Kimberley who finished 27 points ahead of them in the standings and only lost 7 regulation games and 4 OT games, but guess who dealt them 3 of those losses....The Riders had a 3-5 record vs Kimberley (2 OT wins) and have won in Kimberley as well. If the Riders get healthy QUICK they could surprise.
It all starts Tuesday in Kimberley then Wednesday back here in Fernie. For the record, the Nitro's agreed to the 1-1 series format for the benefit of the fans. It's always easier to sell games a few days apart then one after the other plus each team gets a weekend date, Fernie has Saturday. Also for the record, Creston was having none of that and wanted the 2-2 format and that is how their series vs the Rockies will go. Most of the coaches I've ever dealt with would die before they gave up the 2-2, they never wanted to give up any perceived advantage.
Injuries continue to be a problem and the latest is Coleton Dawson who missed the last couple of games and Travis Thomsen who missed Saturday's game. Cole Keebler has been out for the last month but is a possibility in the first round, so I hear anyway.
Kimberley has had injury problems but just got back last season's KIJHL Top Scorer in Jason Richter (96) who was out for a month with an undisclosed injury. Richter had 4 goals and an assist in his first two games back and is clearly one of the top two or three if not the best player in the league.
With 11 goals and 20 assists Mitch Titus (97) had a pretty good rookie year and he's the only Rider to play all 52 games. Kevin Pierce (98) went to Pentiction for a week otherwise he would have played all 52 as well. Dustin Watt (51) and Tayler Sincereness (49) who play injury style games, have been durable as well.
The Riders could have used Alex Cheveldave for the 3 games he was suspended, he is a difference maker who may have helped the Riders get another win, like say in the Golden game. But Alex can piss the other teams off, like he did to the Rockies who who were so mad they spit on him and it was hanging off his visor, a little while later he ran a player and was suspended... so now you know why.
Round' the League
Well the pissin and moanin about how many games will have to be played again in the playoffs this year has already started on the internet. If all your series' went 7 you would play 28 games in 39 days ending on April 2nd then off to Victoria for the Cyclone Taylor Cup April 7th. The KIJHL Governors were offered a fix and could have went to a shorter schedule like the other Jr B leagues who play 44 and 48 game schedules but they didn't want to shorten the season, and they didn't want to have a best of 5 round either. On top of that, while the KI is slugging it out over 4 rounds the other leagues will only play three, Lucky this is a leap year.
BV had to be thrilled to get first place and home ice against the Nelson Leafs . The Leafs are so shorthanded they had to forfeit their last game against Grand Forks, you can read that story here . the reason they are so shorthanded is as one KIJHL'er said McLellan's legacy?
John Craighead, the coach and general manager of the junior B Langley Knights, was given a 6 year suspension for his actions in a game last September. The brawl was in Langley and went viral, it was wild enough that the BCHL put out a notice on their Twitter acc saying in short that "It wasn't us " Read That Story Here
If your sick of watching 2-1 NHL hockey (and I am) former NHL goalie Cory Hirsh has the answer, but he had to tell us in a video in a secret location so the other goalies couldn't "get" him...Cory Hirsh tells us how to make goalie equipment smaller read that here
And finally ...Some NBA broadcaster was on TV sayin Saskatchewan is 'home to a lot of sasquatches,'
The broadcasters were discussing how Utah Jazz Forward Trey Lyles was the first ever NBA player from Saskatchewan.
"Of course that region known for being home to a lot of sasquatches," said the first announcer. "That's what it's named after," The second announcer said that it might not be true...
But I want to tell our US friends the story is totally true "We run em over on the highway all the time".