Beyond the Blue Line

By Stephanie Stevens

Nobody’s giving anything away, but hesitation has taken its toll. 

The second round of the Eddie Mountain Division playoffs has seen both the Columbia Valley Rockies and the Fernie Ghostriders leaving it all on the ice despite the first game going to the Riders in their home barn.

The first two games of the round were played March 8 and 9 in Fernie, with game one going to the Riders 6-2 and the Rockies finding their stride in the second game, taking it 4-1. 

In the March 8 opener Kaelan Shelton opened up the scoring unassisted in the first, followed by Teo Fath (assist from Carter Velker). 

The March 9 tilt saw goals from Fath in the second (assists from Kyran Gromnisky and Oleg Bitus) and the third featured Bryan Kim (assist from Kobe Mason), Bitus unassisted, and Mason with an empty netter for good measure. 

Game three was played at home in the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena and while the play was intense, the Riders took it 2-1 in overtime. 

“Games one and three we played like a team afraid to make mistakes,” said head coach Tayler Sincennes. 

“In game two we just went out and played with confidence. We’ll have to find a way to do that for the rest of the series.”

Scoring in game three didn’t open up until the third period, with Gromnisky teaming up with Fath and Bitus again for the lone Columbia Valley goal. 

“We’ve had some ups and down, playing against some injuries and suspensions,” said associate coach Tucker Braund. “But we have a good chance. We can make it a heck of a series.”

Game four was played March 12 in the Eddie prior to press time and game five will be in Fernie tonight March 14.

If the series goes to seven games, Saturday will see the Riders back in the Eddie and Monday will be played out in Fernie. 

Rockies defenceman Luke Hamilton lets out a battle roar against Fernie.

A smile from Kyran Gromnisky (left).