Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Fernie Ghostriders wing 6-5 over Kimberley Dynamiters, take 2-1 series lead

Game Notes
Nitro's Roster: Risdon, Osmar & Purdy were dressed, while B Bertoia, Van Steinburg and Sterzer were scratched.
Riders Roster: Same skaters as Game Two, Henderson started in net.

1st Period
After a scoreless first half of the period, the Dynamiters capitalized on the Power Play scoring 4-goals in a row. The Nitro's GM/Coach mentioned the team was feeling confident heading into Fernie. Similar to Game One, the Dynamiters scored three goals in just over a minute. Ketola, Davies and Farmer (x2) scored. In the final minute, the Riders did score, as Peers cut into the Nitro's lead. After period one, it was 4-1, and the Nitro's outshot the Riders 16-12.

It almost felt that the game had been decided (in similar fashion to Game One) with the flurry of goals.

2nd Period
However, one thing the Riders GM/Coach wanted was a better push back. They started by changing their goalie, with Youngson starting the 2nd. Within two minutes of the second period starting, the Riders has scored their 2nd and 3rd goals, by Titus and Pierce. Then by the 4th minute, the Riders had tied the game at four. The Nitro's outshot the Riders in the period, 14-6.

3rd Period
The Riders continued their pushback with an early goal that squeezed in by Kennedy. They would later follow up with their sixth goal in a row, with Peers second of the game. Desperation kicked in for the Dynamiters, but they were only able to muster one more goal, as Davies scored a beautiful goal. The Riders would hold on to win the game 6-5. Nitro's also led in shots this period, 9-6.

In short, the Riders came back from 4-nothing, to win the game 6-5, to take a 2-1 series lead in the best of seven.

Game Four is tonight at the Fernie Memorial Arena at 7:30pm.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Kimberley Dynamiters and Fernie Ghostriders series tied at one after first weekend

The Kimberley Dynamiters vs Fernie Ghostriders is a fan favourite series, and two games in, it has impressed.

The Kimberley Dynamiters started the series with a KABOOM, as they shocked the Fernie Ghostrider 8-3.

“Credit to them, they smelled blood in the water.” Said Ghostriders head coach and general manager Craig Mohr. “We just didn't have a good bounce back when they scored, we kind of got on our heels. I don't know if that was playoff shell shock.”

The first 20 minutes went as anticipated for a Kimberley-Fernie series, close scoring. The Dynamiters held a 2-1 lead, with goals from Tyler Van Steinburg and Matt Davies.

It was in the middle frame, in a span of 70 seconds that defined the game. At this point the game was 3-2 for Kimberley, with a Brandy Bertoia goal, but the game was 4-on-4, and the Dynamiters capitalized with the extra room. Devon Langelaar, Joe Karpyshyn and Cody Lassiter all scored in a row. The shell shocked Riders changed their goalie after they were down 6-2.

The Riders tried to make the game respectable adding their third, but then Cooper Page and Van Steinburg responded, for a final score of 8-3.

Cody Campbell made 25 saves for his first KIJHL playoff win.

“We can't get into a track meet with Kimberley or else we are going to be up the track” Mohr said. “Which is what we found out in Game One.”

The Ghostriders then changed from their black to red jersey’s and altered their game style: “We’ve got to get back to playing our game, that's chipping and chasing, going north and south, finishing checks. We have to play our gritty style of game.”

And that’s just what Fernie did in game two on Saturday night. Brandon Nemes gave the Riders a 1-0 lead after an intense first period.

The battle for ice continued in the second. Only the Ghostriders were able to capitalize on their scoring chance in the second, as Ty Abbott scored. Riders goalie, Brendan Henderson was putting on a clinic after being chased from the net in game one.

The Dynamiters were able to close the gap as Karpyshyn scored. However, the Riders improved their pushback and answered with a goal of their own 62 seconds later. Franco Colapaolo got the Nitro’s back to within one. Then with time ticking away, Keelan Saworski gave the Riders a 4-2 lead with 58 seconds left. The Nitro’s pulled the goalie, but this game would end in Fernie’s favor.

“It's the old cliché,” Mohr said “you want to get your split on the road and give yourself a chance to go back into your rink and use that home ice advantage to take get an advantage in the series.”

The Dynamiters, however, felt the sting of losing at home.

“I told them after the loss, to let it sting until midnight and then let it go.” Nitro’s head coach and general manager Derek Stuart said “We can't dwell on the past two games. Monday is a brand new game, and we have to treat it as the best of five now, it's 0-0 all over again.”

Even though it is now a best of five series, with three games in Fernie, the Nitro’s are feeling confident about Monday and Tuesday in Fernie.

“Our players are ready for their arena.” Stuart said “We have done well in their rink, even though I know the results don't show that. We are very confident in that arena.”

Stuart also added, “If they had outplayed us in their arena there would be cause for concern but it's quite the opposite. We controlled the game physically and scoring chance wise in 3 of the 4 times we've played there.”

Then taking it another level further, Stuart recalled the last game of the regular season, “If you can win in Beaver Valley, you can win anywhere. We are really confident heading into Fernie on Monday.”

Ghostriders bench boss is taking a calmer approach to the games coming up:

“Once the first two games are over the nerves are out, and it is going to settle into what a playoff series normally is.

“Usually when it is Kimberley and us it becomes a grind, I see this one being no different.

“I think we have to enjoy and embrace it. We have to appreciate and have fun with the crowd and use that to our advantage.

“It's such a fun series. When you get two teams that are rivals and are both such good hockey teams, it just makes for fun hockey. It's awesome.”

Game three of the series happened Monday night (INSERT RESULT HERE IF POSSIBLE) and game four happens Tuesday night in Fernie at 7:30pm. The series then returns to Kimberley on Thursday at 7pm.

MATCH STICKS: Brandt Bertoia was named the Kimberley Dynamiters regular season February Player of the Month, in five games, Bertoia scored six goals and two assists, while be named the teams star of the game twice. Chase Miller was named the Eddie Mountain Division Rookie of the Year, he scored 51 points in 41 games.

Check it out in the Kimberley Bulletin/Cranbrook Townsman

Bloggers Blurb - February 25, 2017

Discuss the Eddie Mountain Division awards.

Bloggers Blurb - February 24, 2017

Discuss Game One, Fernie & Kimberley playoff history, and we make our playoff predictions.

The Fernie Ghostriders win Game Two 4-2, tying the series with the Kimberley Dynamiters

The Kimberley Dynamiters and Fernie Ghostriders went at it again in their best of seven series, after being downed 8-3, the Ghostriders had something to prove in Game Two

Game Notes
Riders Roster: Pierce returned to the lineup, Henderson started the game. The Riders changed to their Red Jersey's.
Nitros Roster: Andersen backed up Campbell. Same skaters dressed, therefore Purdy, Risdon and Osmar were out.

1st Period
It was a tightly contested first period, neither team registered more than nine shots in the period. It became apparent early in the game, that a few at the Civic Centre were ready to take on the officiating. And when Fernie's B Nemes scored the first goal of the game on a power play, they were not happy, but that relationship was immediately repaired when a Fernie goal was waved off.

2nd Period
The battle for space on the ice continued, except this time there was a lot more pucks fired on net. The ref tried to let their players play, only calling two penalties this frame - and depending who you talk to, that was a bad or a good thing. Abbott gave the Riders a 2-0 lead as he swatted a loose puck in the net. The Riders would hold onto their 2-0 lead as the Nitro's finished the period on a PP, and led in shots 15-12 that period.

The Dynamiters knew they had to score early to get back in the game, and just before the eight minute mark, Karpyshyn scored on the PP to bring the Nitro's within one. The Riders responded strongly and quickly with a PP goal of their own 62 seconds later by Peers. Moments later Colapaolo deked handsomely in close and brought the Nitro's within one again! But all the excited tension would quickly be deflated by Fernie's Saworski as he roofed a shot to make in 4-2. The Dynamiters would pull their goalie to try to claw back in, but Henderson managed the fort. Kimberley outshot the Riders 10-4 this period.

Both teams rest today and prepare for Game Three, now a Best-of-Five series, in Fernie at 7:30pm.

Photo by Jonathan Righton

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Kimberley Dynamiters February Player of the Month: Brandt Bertoia

The Kimberley Dynamiters named Brandt Bertoia as their regular season February Player of the Month. In five games, Bertoia scored six goals and two assists, while be named the teams star of the game twice.

Photo by Jonathan Righton

The Kimberley Dynamiters win Game One 8-3

There was a lot of build up heading into this fan favourite series. Most of the hype was about how close this series was going to be, Game One did not finish close.

Game Notes
Nitro's Roster: Risdon and Purdy. Osmar is suspended
Riders Roster: Huago, Pierce, Kingwell out with injury. Affiliate Beranek in the game.

1st Period
This was expected, penalties. The first penalty was called not even 2-minutes into the game against the Ghostriders. Kimberley's Van Steinburg, a defencemen, made them pay as he crashed the net and put home a rebound. Colapaolo looked to build on the lead with a breakaway, but was stopped by Henderson. The Riders Wilson scored his own PP goal to level the game. But the Dynamiters would finish the period up 2-1, as Karpyshyn fed Davies on a 2-on-1 break. Shots were 15-12 for Fernie, Campbell was holding his line.

2nd Period
The Riders tied the game at two, with a goal by Nemes, but this would be the closest the game would get. Nitro's POM B Bertoia quickly gave the Nitro's a 3-2 lead. Then the penalties continued to be called, which lead to a 4-on-4, and this is where the explosion happened. In the span of 1:09 the Dynamiters scored three goals: Langelaar's ecstatic effort, Karpyshyn finished a 2-on-0 with Miller, and Lassiter trailed the play to fire a shot in. All of a sudden it was 6-2 Kimberley. The Riders changed their goalie to Youngson. Nitro's outshot Fernie 13-6.

3rd Period
Nitro's Langelaar and Rider's Sincennes dropped the gloves at with 14 minutes left, avoiding an automatic 1-game suspension for their fight. The Riders did try to fight their way back as Traverse scored the teams third goal of the game, but Page and Van Steinburg gave the Dynamiters a commanding 8-3 win over the Riders. Shots in the period were 10-7 for Kimberley.

Campbell made 25 saves for his first KIJHL playoff win. B Bertoia was named the home star, however Karpyshyn and Davies each had three points (1G, 2A).

Game Two goes tonight at 7pm at the Kimberley Civic Centre.

Photos by Jonathan Righton