Bruins winning streak marred by later losses
The ongoing adventures of the Grand Forks Border Bruins have continued to entertain over the past three weeks with the team finally winning their first and second road games of the season. They followed it up by being shutout, giving up a third period lead on home-ice, and losing once again to their Kootenay Conference: Neil Murdoch Division rivals, the Spokane Braves and the Castlegar Rebels. But before things went bad, they were good. And they were real good. On Nov. 20, the Bruins travelled to Penticton to take on the home-town Lakers, in what turned out to be a route of epic proportions. Going in, Grand Forks had not registered a point away from the Grand Forks Arena, let alone a win. However that all changed as the Bruins shellacked the Lakers 12-4 at the South Okanagan Events Center, and tallied their first road victory of the season. Artsiom Kalashnikov and his brother, Yan, led the way for Grand Forks, registering 5 points apiece. Artsiom tallied 3 goals and 2 assists, while Yan scored once and added 4 assists. From Penticton the Bruins travelled south to Spokane, WA, to take on the Braves on Nov. 21. The Bruins had not tallied a win against the Braves this season and this game did not put an end to that streak. Spokane scored six times, while the Bears were only able to light the lamp twice in the loss. Zachary Thompson was the lone bright spot for the B’s recording a goal and an assist in the 6-2 defeat. Grand Forks remained on the road the following week, this time travelling to Kamloops to take on the Storm on Nov. 26. The Bruins took a 3-1 lead into the third period where the Storm were able to score once to cut into the lead 3-2, but that was as close as they came. The Bears held off the Storm to win their second game in three tries. Dylan Sahara scored two goals in the game and was named the game’s first star. The winners of two of their past three road games, the Bruins remained on the road for a fourth consecutive game, this time heading to Revelstoke to take on the Grizzlies on Nov. 27. The Bruins were unable to get their offense clicking and were ultimately shutout by the Grizzlies, 6-0. The Border Bruins finally returned home this past Friday, December 3, to take on the Kimberley Dynamiters at the Grand Forks Arena. Grand Forks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second but shortly after gave up three straight goals to the Dynamiters to fall behind 3-2. Bruin Kale Erickson scored to knot the game at 3-3, but Kimberley answered back again, this time with two goals to jump in front 5-3. The B’s scored a late goal, but it was a case of too-little, too late, as the Bruins blew the lead and the game, losing 5-4, in a game they should have won. Finally, the Bruins played this past Tuesday, Dec. 7, in Castlegar against the Rebels – a team that has also had the Bruins number for years now. The Rebels, even without stars, Ridley Scott and Ryan Aynsley who have now moved on to greener pastures, were still able to defeat the Bruins, 6-2. Thompson and Sahara both finished the game with two points. Looking forward the Grand Forks Border Bruins only have four more scheduled games for the month of December with only one of those four coming on home-ice. The Bruins play tonight (Thursday, Dec. 9) at home against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday they travel to Nelson to take on the Leafs with a scheduled 1:00 p.m. puck-drop. On Tuesday, Dec. 14, the Bruins will be in Fruitvale to play a rematch against the Nitehawks, while on Friday Dec. 17, the Bears will be in Creston to take on the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. Puck-drop for those two games is 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively. The Bruins record now stands at 6 wins and 24 losses, good enough for 12 points. Zachary Thompson still leads the Bruins in goals (20), assists (18), and points (38). He also sits 7th in the whole of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) in goals, and 13th in the league in points.
Michael Wirischagin is the play-by-play voice of the Grand Forks Border Bruins on KIJHL.ca and playfullscreen.com