Thursday, 26 January 2017

Kimberley 3 @ Fernie 5

Kimberley 3 @ Fernie 5

Brendan Henderson stopped 28 of 31 shots and Keelan Saworski's second goal late in the second period was the game winner.

The Riders had a 3-1 lead in the first after Keagan Kingwell opened the scoring shorthanded then Brendan Nemes and Saworski each scored goals . Chase Miller scored the Nitro goal 

Kimberley scored a pair of goals in the second, Nolan Kurylo and  Miller with his second scored to tie the game at 3-3 but with 3:03 left in the period Saworksi got a pass from Aidan Wilson and scored what would turn out to be the game winner.

In the third Tayler Sincennes scored into the empty net to seal the deal for the Riders .

Game Notes

Keelan Saworski finished with 2G 1A. Aidan Wilson had 4 assists and was named as the Riders POG and Brendan Names had 1 goal and 1 assist.

Nitro Chase Miller had 2G 1A and was the Nitro POG. Nolan Kurylo had 1G 1A and Joe Karpyshyn finished with 3A. Cody Campbell allowed 4 goals  on 31 shots in the Nitro net.

Kimbo was 0-2 and Fernie went 0-3 on the power play and the shots were 31 each and 1000 fans watched the game

Kimberley won the battle of the cheap shots Thursday and got away with a few extra ones. Among others two come to mind, Chase Miller pushed Alex Cheveldave from behind crashing him into the boards and I'm told  it was Brandon Langridge who ran 20 steps and half the ice in an attempt to injure the caged 16 year old AP  Owen Titus but missed and ran into the boards. There were more by both sides but Coach Craig Mohr had a leash on the guys and just wanted the win.

Kevin Pierce, Riley Siebel and Evan Traverse were out with injuries and suspensions.

The Riders are still 8 points behind Kimberley for second place. Fernie travels to Nelson Saturday to play the Leafs who have a few guys out with suspensions then Sunday they are in Grand Forks Both the Forks and Leafs are in a battle for third place in their division.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Even more of the annoying Round' the League

A few announcements on Twitter today that I'll put here,  for those who incredibly have a life and don't spend their day on the aforementioned social media outlet. There are people like that... I even met one once.

These are all things for fans to ponder over the next few months.

#1/ The most immediately important to the KIJHL . The BCHL says they are moving from a 22 to a 23 man roster.  In other words, because the BCHL has 17 teams and I have my GED so I can add now... there will be 17 less players available next season, and it  woulda bin like 60 or something  if Williams Lake and Quesnel came into the league... boy that GED sure came in handy tonight. 

Read the BCHL story here

That ain't good for Jr B but it's going to happen and there's nothing we can do about it... read the next paragraph.

#2/  Potentially even more important and happening soon... 
In my post yesterday we said that Williams Lake and Quesnel  "Aren't going away folks and will  join the KIJHL sooner than later , or they'll start their own league... with the possibility of being joined by some KI defectors". 

Today Adam Williams of Kamloops This Week had this quote from Quesnel's Matt Kolle. "Maybe there will be a team Quesnel can buy and relocate, or perhaps bringing junior B hockey north for the 2018- 2019 season is a more realistic goal".

It's going to happen, one way or another... but I sure like the relocate idea better than new franchises. I think a new league is what he meant by bring hockey north and the spinoffs line in the story link below, but I only got a GED ...
Read that story here

#3/ The USHL has come up with a few rule changes, the one that interests me and several fans I know is if you have a 20 year old goalie he won't count against your 20 year old quota... In other words in the KI we could have 5 96 skaters this year and one 96 goalie. Maybe the USHL thinks goalies aren't players, they're like space invaders or something... anyway I like it...the more 20's the better as far as Im concerned, especially with the new teams and roster sizes coming up.Read that story here

I believe the paragraph below  was was agreed to at the KIJHL AGM in the summer... according to North Oak's Bryant Perrier --Hearing some teams aren't to happy about it right now, say it ain't so ?  Read the full newspaper story here

Teams will battle within their division for the first two rounds, with the opening round series being a best-of-seven divisional semifinal.
The division final will then be a best-of-five.
The winner of the Okanagan-Shuswap Division will face the winner of the Doug Birks Division in the third round Okanagan Conference Final, which is also a best-of-five series.
The winner there advances to meet the winner of the Kootenay Conference in the best-of-seven league championship.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Next Game, Notebook and the always annoying Round' the League

The Ghostriders renew acquaintances with the Kimberley Dynamiters Thursday night here in Fernie. This is  game seven of the two teams eight game regular season series. So far each team has won three games and the last game resulted in several suspensions to both teams.

Kimberley lost their last game 6-5 to the visiting Creston Thunder Cats and are currently in second place with 55 points, 5 behind Creston but 10 up on Fernie.

The Ghostriders won their last game by a 2-1 score in Golden. Keagan Kingwell scored the first goal on the power play from Cheveldave and D.Nemes then Evan Traverse scored what would turn out to be the game winner from Ty Abbott and Tayler Sincennes. Both goals were in the first period and were all the Riders needed for the win. 

Ghostrider Notebook
Brendan Henderson got his first win in net last week in Golden. Henderson was acquired from Port Moody ( but never signed there) via 100 Mile where he played his last game December 7th. When he came to Fernie he was kinda thrown to the wolves as his his first games were against the two best KIJHL  teams, Beaver Valley and Creston. Coach Mohr tells us that if it wasn't for Henderson the score in the Creston game could have been much worse than 5-2.

Evan Traverse was the Riders Player of the Week, he scored in both games last weekend.

Ryan Kennedy who was out for a month is expected to play Thursday and Kyle Haugo is eligible for Thursday as well after serving his suspension from the last Kimberley game.   Riley Siebel is eligible to play Saturday in Nelson, he was suspended Jan 14th for kneeing. 

Kevin Pierce suffered a knee injury that will keep him out of the lineup for 6-8 weeks.

The Ghostriders play in Nelson Saturday and in Grand Forks Sunday at 3:00 Fernie time. Next week the Riders are in Kimberley Friday and Creston is here Saturday Feb 4th.

Round' the League

Williams Lake and Quesnel both applied to join the KIJHL but were turned down by a 75% vote last Sunday. 

They aren't going away folks and will  join the KIJHL sooner than later , or they'll start their own league... with the possibility of being joined by some KI defectors. These are two former BCHL towns who went broke at that level (easily twice or three times the operating cost per year to run a team ) who could support a Jr B team in their sleep, with cash to spare. 

I'm glad they were turned down... for a couple of selfish reasons. 

1/ Since the KIJHL has now adopted this stupid no crossovers schedule...  we'd  never see em anyway.

2/ They will have money and will be after the same players we (and the rest of the league) will be trying to recruit...and they will win many of those wars, see have money... 

So just how much more do we want to water down the league anyway... We already have teams with only 5,8,9 and 12 wins after 39 or 40 games... does anyone (besides the KIJHL 's top scorers) want two more?  I'm also pretty sure that WL and Quesnel won't be one of them...unless they hire Homer Simpson, Jim from Taxi or me as a Head Coach and GM.

The Nelson Leafs (who will play in Fernie Saturday Feb 11th) got in another line brawl after another one sided loss, this time 8-2 to the Rebels in Nelson last weekend. Check out the PIM's Here      They had one with Creston earlier in the year that ended up with the two coaches chirping one  another in the newspaper Read that here if you want      The player suspensions are posted on the KI site...I know for sure that Rider Head Coach Craig Mohr and  several other HC's Round' the League want to know all about the coaching suspensions as well...  Mohr was nailed for 5 after the Riders only line brawl of the year. And was not happy about it. Kelowna's HC also got several games as well earlier in the year. 

The league posts the player suspensions but not the coaches,  bet if the players had a vote on that we would see em... 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Eddie Mountain Break Dance

Fernie 2 @ Golden 1

After losing to Creston Friday Brendan Henderson got his first win in the Riders net Saturday stopping 23 of 24 Rocket shots.  Keagan Kingwell who was the Riders POG and Evan Traverse with the game winner were the goal scorers

The Rockets POG   Dorian Laganiere-Labranche stopped 49 of 51 shots for the Rockets and gave his team a chance to win.

Meanwhile in Kimberley Creston got a 6-5 win when Aiden Wong scored late in the third to break a 5-5 tie. Austin Anselmo had 2G 1A and Pat Osterman was credited with the win.

Kimberley's Nolan Kurylo had 3 goals and an assist in a losing cause.

The win gives Creston a 5 point lead on Kimbo, it's starting to look like the Riders will play Kimberley in the first round. A preview of that series starts Thursday when Kimberley is here in Fernie.

The other Eddie Mountain game saw the Rockies, who are playing much better in the last couple of weeks lose 6-3 in Beaver Valley. The Rockies will finish in 4th.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Rider Notes and the always annoying , Round' The League

The Ghostriders play the first place Creston Valley Thunder Cats Friday Jan 20th right here in Fernie.

Creston got surprised last week by the Rockies who beat them 6-4 right in Creston. Go figure, the Rockies are starting to play like a playoff team. Good reffin...Oh shutup it's just a joke. Creston did win 5-2 in Kimberley the next night though.

Meanwhile the  Ghostriders only played one game last weekend and lost 5-2 to the first place overall Beaver Valley Nitehawks. After the Creston game this Friday the  Riders play in Golden Saturday night and it is a Drive 99.1 Radio Broadcast Game. 

Ghostrider Notebook
Rider forward Riley Siebel picked up a 3 game suspension for kneeing at the end of the BV game last Saturday and is out until Jan 27th.
D-man Kyle Haugo is suspended until next Thursday when Kimberley is here in Fernie.

D man Kevin Pierce is back from Spain where he played in a tournament with team Mexico. The team didn’t do very well but Kevin got to play lots of minutes.
Derek Green (99) played in the Prospects game between the Kootenay and Okanagan last weekend in Kelowna. The game ended in a 3-3 tie.

Round' the League

I'm pretty sure a few of the top teams in the league are questioning the no crossovers decision right about now... Im bettin the big gun  teams in Creston, Osoyoos and Beaver Valley along with a few other teams who are in the mix to win the league would love to play a few crossovers... just to see where they stand with the other division. Another casualty of the no crossovers.

Williams Lake and Quesnel have applied to join the KIJHL, Im told the deadline for a new franchise is April 1st, so the league actually has time to get their ducks in order, but I hear they they may not wait.  

IMO it's two more teams with money who will be very hard to recruit against. The small town could be on it's way out.

The latest BC Hockey news...  the Westside Warriors won the Royal Bank Cup last season and are now a powerful franchise... oh wait a minute..  despite winning everything they lost $300,000, and now they have been sold and may move to Delta BC, thus ousting their Jr B team. And this is even after the City agreed to a $10,000 dollar haircut on ice fees. Read that story here      
Will the Delta Ice Hawks move to Westside... haha Kelowna would be pissed... but they'll  have a league game they can walk to...

And what about Cranbrook... rumours have Nanaimo building a $85 million dollar 5700 seat arena with the Ice as their main tenant ... The KIJHL back in Cranbrook ? The BC Hockey landscape is changing as we speak, and it's all about money.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Eddie Mountain Breakdown

Beaver Valley 5 @ Fernie 2

At the halfway mark of the second period the Hawks had a 2-0 lead on goals from Sam Swanson and Damon Kramer.

The Riders fought back and Mitch Titus and Tayler Sincennes scored two  goals 30 seconds apart to tie the game  but Kyle Hope scored the Hawks 3rd goal and what would turn out to be the game winner with just 1:39 left in the second.

Blake Sidoni and Dylan Kent scored goals in the third to clinch the Hawks 8th win in a row and 63rd point, they are first in the KIJHL.

The shots were 42-34 for BV and Goalie Tallon Kramer was named as the Hawk Player of the Game.

Keagan Kingwell was the Riders POG and Brendan Henderson was in the Rider net, it was his first game since Dec. 7th in 100 Mile House.


After losing 6-4 to the Rockies Friday Creston went into Kimberley and won 5-2

But it was not a 5-2 game, the Nitro's and Cats were tied at 2 in the third before Jonathan Lee scored the game winner with 7:42 left in the game. Creston scored two EN goals after that for the 5-2 win.

Pat Osterman got the win in net Saturday after star goalie  Brock Lefebvre lost to the Rockies Friday in his first game back in over a month. Former Nelson D Cole Arcuri and D Sebastian Killcommons each had 1G 1A


Rockies 8 @ Golden 3

The Rockies went 3-6 on the PP and  got their second ROAD win of the weekend in Golden Saturday after beating Creston 6-4 Friday.

Former Rider Mike Dyck had a 4 point night as did Craig Offer and Riley Knott chipped in with 3 goals.
Ben Kelch had the win in net as the Rockies suddenly start playing like a playoff team again.

The Rockies are are not officially in the playoffs but... they are, the only question is who will they play, Kimbo or Creston, the Riders are officially in the PO but don't know who they will play, but it won't be the Rockies as Fernie has a 20 point lead on them and are 10 behind Kimberley.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Will the KIJHL Expand

The KIJHL Governors will be voting on wether to let Williams Lake and Quesnel into the KIJHL. This has been in the works for a while as the KI has played a number of games over the last few years in that area. 

This in my opinion is a no win situation for the Governors. Yes some of the Okanagan Shuswap teams could end up with some good games travel wise, but at the same time these two former BCHL Jr A team cities will be very tough to recruit against and the closest team in 100 Mile, should be alarmed.

If you're  Spokane according to Storm GM Barry Dewar you would have to travel 1000 KM, to Quesnel... read Dewar's interview right here  So say good bye to my favourite  crossovers, (playing all the teams in the league) this time forever... unless the rich teams use them to force out the poor teams, ( I got an evil mind eh) but not likely though as almost all the KI teams are crying poverty. 

Another argument against is, lets make the weak teams better first. The KI tried that, a little bit... For those with good memories you will remember that a couple of years ago the KIJHL sold everyone but me on a 30 day suspension for players who don't report after they are traded, this was suppose to be to help the weak teams who have trouble getting good players to report after a trade. 

Gutless Hockey Canada who's Mission Statement is "Lead, Develop, and Promote Positive Hockey Experiences has allowed that rule at the Jr A level as well, I think it should be challenged in court, but that's another matter... Anyway, adding Quesnel and Williams Lake will hurt the weaker teams that the brutal 30 days in the hole rule was suppose to, but didn't, help. In my opinion... only money can help the weaker teams. I bet the two new teams will have  money.

Now if the Gov's vote them out they have yet another problem, they could start their own league, and it's entirely possible that a couple of KI teams would join them. One of the main reasons they may consider that is that the two other Jr B leagues, the PIJHL and the VIJHL each have a Cyclone Taylor rep. They have two reps per 19 teams while the KIJHL has one per 20 teams, 22 with the new guys. Regardless of whatever happens that will have to change, but the extra team will make it even harder for small towns to host the Cyclone ever again, these arguments just never end.

Also, the new teams are totally new franchises and are not KIJHL teams moving North like what happened in 2013 when the failed  Pentiction Lakers were sold and moved to 100. So can you say watered down... and the questions just never end as well.

You can read the Nelson News story on this here

Ghostrider Notebook

As you already know goaltender Brandon Butler suffered a season ending knee injury in December so GM Craig Mohr has brought in 18 year old goaltender Brendan Henderson from the 100 Mile Wranglers. Henderson lost his spot when the Wranglers brought in 19 year old Jakob Severson. 

Welcome to Fernie Brendan!

Forward Matt Rogers also suffered a season ending knee injury and GM Mohr is looking to fill his spot as we speak. Both Rogers and Butler like all the other players worked their hearts out on the ice and it is tragic they have had their season's ended this way.

Ty Abbott, Nolan Lagace, Ben Shushkovsky and Brendan Nemes are all eligible to play Saturday  after serving their suspensions from a few weeks ago. Kyle Haugo still has 3 more games to go before he is back.  
Kevin Pierce is in Spain playing in a tournament with Team Mexico and will be back in another week. 
Derek Green will be playing in the KIJHL’s Prospects game in Kelowna this weekend, Coach Craig Mohr is in Kelowna as well as an assistant coach. 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Riders get two wins

The Ghostriders won both of their games last weekend, 3-1 on the road in Invermere and 5-1 at home against the Castlegar Rebels… with only 14 skaters Friday and 13 Saturday!

A great effort by the players who although shorthanded just had to love all the ice time they got thus making the two wins even more jumping up and down fun.

On Friday they were down 1-0 in the first after a Chase Hawkins goal but in the second Mitch Titus’ brother Owen an affiliate player scored the tying goal from Kingwell and Siebel.

In the third Riley Siebel scored a beauty shorthanded  that turned out to be the game winner. Justin Peers from D Nemes and Downe scored the insurance goal and Brandon Youngson had the win in net stopping 33 of 34. The Rockies Ben Kelsch stopped 40 of 43 in a losing effort.

On Saturday with just 13 skaters the Riders earned a 5-1 win over the visiting Castlegar Rebels who are in a dog fight with Grand Forks for second place. Another very convincing win for 13 skaters. 13 because Owen Titus was not available for the game.

The Riders had leads of 2-1, 3-1 and at the end 5-1. Devin Nemes had 2 goals and an assist while Tristan Downe,(PP) Keelan Saworski (PP) and Alex Cheveldave each had a goal, Mitch Titus and Justin Peers  had 2A and Keagan Kingwell and Tayler Sincennes chipped in with 1 A each. Brandon Youngson had the win in net stopping 29 of 30 Rebel shots while Curt Doyle faced 29 shots.

With Head Coach Craig Mohr serving a ridiculous 5 game suspension (Kimberley HC Derek Stuart got 0 games)James Ouimet and and former Rider assistant coach from 2003-05 Brian Youngson ran the bench Friday then were joined by Jeff Zmurchyk on Saturday.  

According to Coach Mohr the turning point Saturday was a save by Youngson in the third period when Logan Styler found himself alone in the slot firing a wicked shot headed for the left hand corner of Youngson who flashed his glove out and caught what would have been Styler’s 18 goal and 52nd point. He is in second place in league scoring as we speak. The wrong guy to be alone where he was but the right guy in net.

Coach Mohr also credits his players adherence (they did as asked of them) to a more conservative system he put in place due to the limited number of skaters.

A great 4 point weekend... we got more to say  in the next day or so. See you soon.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Riders, Creston win Friday

Fernie 3 @ CVR 1

The Riders went to Invermere with just 14 skaters and picked up a 3-1 win. Plus outshot CVR 43-34

AP Owen Titus scored to tie the game at 1-1 in the second.

Riley Siebel scored the game winner shorthanded in the third

Justin Peers scored the insurance goal with 4:58 left in the game.

Brandon Youngson stopped 33 of 34 shots.

Neither team had a PP G

In other news
 Kimberley lost 9-2 to Beaver Valley in a game played in Cranbrook because of ice time problems.

Creston hammers Spokane 8-2 and Golden lost 3-2 to Nelson but gained a point.

The Riders play Castlegar tonight in Fernie, the Rebels beat Grand Forks 8-4 Friday and are now just 1 point behind GFBB.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Rider Notes for the Weekend

The Ghostriders play the Castlegar Rebels Saturday night, after last weekend the Rebels  were in 3rd place in their division with 34 points just 3 points behind Grand Forks... but the Rebels also have 3 games in hand. 
Beaver Valley with 53 points will finish in first place, they will be here in Fernie next Saturday January 14th.

The Ghostriders defeated the Rebels 7-3 here in Fernie on October 1st but the Rebels won 7-5 in Castlegar December 10th.

The Rebels have two guys in the top 10 in KIJHL scoring, Logan Styler has 52 and Ed Lindsey has 50 points.

 Suspension List
Brendan Nemes, Ty Abbott, Nolan Lagace and Ben Shushkovsky will be serving game 3 of their 3 game suspensions on Saturday.  Kyle Haugo was nailed with an instigator penalty during the Kimberley line brawl will still have 3 more games to go.

Head Coach Craig Mohr will also miss Saturday’s game, it will be game 3 of his 5 game suspension.

GM Craig Mohr has a line on a couple of goalies to replace the injured Brandon Butler, and a forward to replace the injured Matt Rogers... we should hear something very soon.

Mitch Titus, who was injured by a cheap shot in the Kimberley game along with Ryan Kennedy and Justin Peers are all listed as day to day with injuries.

Kevin Pierce is playing in Spain with team Mexico (his birth place) in the World Tier two under 20 tournament in Spain. He will be back late January.

In Creston on New Year's Eve the Riders had affiliate players Chase Rayman, Cory Caldwell, Jake Beranek, Owen Titus and Andre Pelletier in the lineup. All the Rider AP's are unavailable this weekend as they all have games with their regular teams. 
Coach Mohr says the AP's did a good job against the 1st place Thunder Cats keeping them in check most of the night and only a late third period goal in a 3-2 loss kept the game from going into OT..

The Ghostriders are in Invermere on Friday night and it is a Drive 99.1 Radio Broadcast game.

The Crowd from the last game
Thanks Kathy

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Ghostriders lose Brandon Butler

The Ghostriders have lost their number one goalie Brandon Butler to a knee injury. Coach Craig Mohr says "Brandon has torn (1MM left) the cartilage in his knee and will be having surgery as soon as next week. The injury has ended the twenty year old's junior career".

Butler was injured December 16th in Golden during the warmup and didn't play again until the two Kimberley games last week where he gutted out two final starts for the Riders. After those games he told Goalie Coach Gerry Pang he was done and couldn't go against Creston. 

This was not the first time Butler played with an injury, last season he played the whole year on a broken foot that never healed until the off season. At the end of the year Brandon was named as the Ghostriders Most Inspirational player

Coach Craig Mohr "The Ghostriders would like to thank Brandon Butler for his 2 1/2 years of outstanding play and teamwork. He is a role model for all future Ghostriders to follow".

Goalie Coach Gerry Pang tells me at first he had some doubts about the new goalie but after working with him for a little while Butler started to remind him of his son Darren (Chicago Black Hawks) with his size work ethic and coach ability and he was was sold.

"Butler got quicker and faster had a great attitude " "Of all the goalies we have had over the years Butler was the goalie I most enjoyed working with". "He is a student of the game and could easily run a goalie school."

So GM Mohr is now actively looking for a goalie. There are a few guys out there who he is pursuing but until then Brandon Youngson, who was the Riders Player of the Game in Creston Saturday, will take over the number one spot and Fernie local Andre Pelletier will be the backup.