By Derek Kaye
Castlegar News contributor
The Castlegar Rebels hosted the Fernie Ghostriders Friday night at the Community Complex.
It was a fast competitive hockey game. The players were so consumed by the game that there were no fights, only action.
The Ghostriders opened scoring in the first minute with a goal by Kale Johnstone (Josh Teves). The Rebels responded less than four minutes later with a goal by Diego Bartlett (Derek Georgopoulos, Travis Wilkie). The game was fierce and a total of five penalties had been chalked up by the end of the first period, with the Rebels the owners of three of the fouls. This last penalty with only two minutes left in the period gave the Ghostriders a late power play they made the most of.
The Rebels were practically doubling the Ghostriders in shots, but it was becoming increasingly evident that the Fernie Goaltender, Austin Wells was going to be anything but a pushover. Shot after shot he repelled or covered up, denying the Rebels rebound opportunities. Interviewed later he commented, “most of the shots were pretty high quality. They like to pass in the slot; I was aware of that so that gave me an edge.”
In only his tenth game with Fernie, this “Calgary kid” never lost his focus. After a second period goal by the Rebels Matt Reed (Derek Georgopoulos, Kody Disher) mid-period, the Fernie goalie didn’t allow any more shots to count. The Ghostriders tapped penalty after penalty including four in the third period giving the Rebels a five on three advantage. Even with the likes of Rebels captain Kody Disher and then rest of his team hustling hard, the Fernie goalie snubbed their attempts. As his coach Dale LaDune put it, “Your best penalty killer is always your goalie and Wells had those big saves.”
In the the last minute of play with sudden death overtime looking imminent and 39 seconds on the clock, the Ghostriders’ Jon Thompson (Josh Odelein, Kale Johnstone) dealt the Rebels the decisive blow with one last shot into the net.
The next Rebels local game is December 19 when they host the Nelson Leafs who currently hold down first place in the Neil Murdoch Division, while Castlegar is ranked third.