All in a week's work: Bruins win one, and almost another
The Grand Forks Border Bruins closed out the 2010 calendar year this past Friday, winning one of their previous four games, putting them in a position to turn some heads come January. Looking back to Dec. 9, the Border Bruins welcomed division rival, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (BV) to the Grand Forks Arena, for a game that turned out to be anything but a defensive struggle. The floodgates opened early into the first period as the Hawks jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, before big D-man Derek Grimm answered back for the Bruins cutting into the lead 3-1. Garrett McCracken added another for the ‘Forks, making it a one goal deficit, but BV potted two more to take a 5-2 lead into the first intermission. Grand Forks’ Nick Van Damme scored the only goal of the second period, but Beaver Valley scored to start to third period, increasing their lead back to three goals. Both teams traded goals, with Zachary Thompson getting the marker for the B’s, in what turned out to be a 7-4, G.F. loss. Van Damme led the way for the Bears with two points (1 goal, 1 assist) while eight others registered one point. On Sunday, Dec. 12, the Bruins travelled to Nelson to take on the Leafs in an afternoon match-up for what turned out to be another Wild West shootout. The Leafs came out flying netting three first period goals and another to start the second, jumping out to what appeared to be an insurmountable 4-0 lead. Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) Kootenay Conference Player of the month, Yan Kalashnikov finally broke the Leafs scoring streak with a goal in the second, however the Bruins were still down 4-1 heading into the third. Cue the comeback. Kale Erickson scored another B’s goal, before Nelson netted another, putting the Bears behind 5-2, with 4:44 to play in the game. With 4:35 to play in the third, Dylan Sahara scored bring the score to 5-3, Nelson. Thompson followed that up with a goal of his own to cut into the lead further, with 4:14 to play. Finally, Randy Tosoff scored for the Bruins to tie the game up at 5-5, which sent the game to overtime, and with one second left in O.T., Sahara scored his second goal of the game to give the Bruins the 6-5 victory over the Nelson Leafs. Sahara and Thompson led the way for Grand Forks with both tallying four points. Thompson finished with 1 goal and three assists, while the O.T. hero finished with 2 goals and 2 assists. Kalashnikov finished with three points, (1 goal, 2 assists), Grimm finished with 2 points (both assists), and five others recorded apiece. On Tuesday Dec. 14, the Bruins risked the Paulson Pass to travel to Fruitvale to play their second game in a less than a week against the Nitehawks. For a third straight game, the Bruins goaltending played terribly. For the third straight game the goaltender who started the game for the B’s would not finish the game, with each of the three starters getting pulled at various times. BV jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but Sahara answered back shortly thereafter to knot the game at 1. The ‘Hawks would add another with 12 second to play in the first to take a 2-1 lead into the break. Kevin Wong and Thompson scored for the Bears in the second, but Beaver Valley buried three of their own in the stanza to take a 5-3 lead into the third. Both teams would trade two goals apiece, with the Bruins’ markers coming by way of Kalashnikov and Gary Mahesh, and the Bruins would lose another game to the Nitehawks, 7-5. Thompson would finish the game with three points (1 goals, 2 assists), five more Bruins would finish with two points, and four players finished with 1 point in the Bruins loss. The Border Bruins finished off the 2010 calendar this past Friday travelling to Creston to face-off against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. Hometown, Grand Forks product Nathan Nicholson started the game for the Border Bruins and made a case for himself, stopping 39 of 42 shots he faced and was named the game’s third star, playing the game of his life in the process. Problem being for Nicholson, was that the Bruins high scoring offense did not make the trip to the Creston Valley, and while Nicholson may have only gave up three goals, the B’s were only able to score two, and Nicholson was charged with the loss in the 3-2 Bruins defeat. Mahesh and Joey Cormano scored the only goals for the Bruins, and only four players registered a point in the game. Now with the 2010 portion of the season complete for the Border Bruins, they will have to look forward to the New Year before they can take to the ice again. The B’s next play is Jan. 4, at the Grand Forks Arena against the Castlegar Rebels. Game time is 7:30 p.m. The Bruins record now stands at 7 wins, and 27 losses, through 34 games. Border Bruins forward Zachary Thompson sits 8th in the KIJHL in points with 47 and 7th in goals with 23.
Michael Wirischagin is the play-by-play voice of the Grand Forks Border Bruins on KIJHL.ca and playfullscreen.com