Bruins still looking for first win
The best way to sum up the Grand Forks Border Bruins past three games over the past two weeks would be to use one word: lamentable. Sure, it may not be the most obvious choice after seeing lopsided losses to Kootenay Conference: Neil Murdoch Division rivals the Castlegar Rebels, Nelson Leafs, and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, but every once in a while we all need an excuse to break open the old thesaurus and try to find ways to hide the obvious. The Bruins welcomed the Rebels to the Grand Forks Arena on Sept. 23 looking to rebound from a disastrous start to their season, being outscored 19-2 over their first two games, and were hopeful that game three would be better. But it wasn’t. Grand Forks came out flat in the first period being outshot 28-4 in the frame and outscored 3-0. Castlegar tagged on four more goals to start the second period before the Bruins’ Paul Herringer cut into the Rebels lead, 7-1. The ‘Gar added another to make it 8-1 at the end of the second. The Bears were only able to muster two shots in the frame. Grand Forks was able outshoot the Rebels in the third period 12-2, but were only able score once more in the frame, as did Castlegar, and the Rebels handedly defeated the Bears, 9-2. Herringer tallied both of the GF goals. Castlegar’s Anthony Delong finish the game with 1-goal and 4-assists. The Leafs were next in line to take on the Bears as Grand Forks travelled to Nelson on Sept. 30 to play their fourth game of the year. Nelson came out firing, scoring four times in the first frame. The Leafs then added two more goals in the second period and five more in the third to easily beat the Border Bruins 11-1. The lone Grand Forks tally came at the end of the first period and was scored by Kurtis Coburn. Nelson’s Matt Jmaeff and Carson Willians both finished with four points apiece. The Bruins rounded out the past two weeks with a home game last Saturday at the Grand Forks Arena, taking on the Nitehawks for the third time this season. GF lost their previous match-ups to the ‘Hawks, 13-0 and 6-2 and were certainly hoping for a better outcome this time around. Like each of their other four games on the year, the Bruins found themselves behind early in the game as B.V. lit the lamp early and often routing the Border Bruins again, this time by a score of 11-3. Michael Mansfield, Austin Lee, and Chris Critchley scored the three Grand Forks goals, while Beaver Valley’s Dallas Calvin, Ryan Edwards, Chris Derochie, and Max Flanagan registered three points apiece. Following the Border Bruins three losses over the past two weeks, their record now stands at 0-wins, 5-losses and are one of three teams to have not registered a win on the season. The Chase Chiefs (0-wins, 8-losses) and the Columbia Valley Rockies (0-wins, 7-losses) are the other two. Grand Forks is second worst in the Kootenay International Hockey League in goals-scored-per-game-average at 1.60, just ahead of the Rockies 1.14 goals-per-game. The Bruins also have the worst goals-against-average at an astounding 10.00 goals-per-game. The Rockies, who are second worst in the league, averaging three fewer goals-per-game-against at 7.00. To sum up the statistics, over their first five games, the Border Bruins have been outscored 50-8. Lamentable, yes… if it was a football score. Worse yet in that it is a hockey score.
The Bruins next play this Thursday against the Nelson Leafs, Friday against the Osoyoos Coyotes and again on Saturday versus the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. All three games are in Grand Forks at 7:30 p.m.