The Border Bruins enter the upcoming weekend schedule on the heels of back-to-back overtime wins.
“The guys really picked it up—that’s what we needed,” said coach Brad Snyder.
Recapping the team’s play over the past couple of weeks, they fell in a close 3-2 game on Sept. 23 against the Nelson Leafs. The Bruins were outscored 3 to 1 in the first period, but blanked the Leafs in the next two.
The Leafs outshot the Bruins 28 to 21; and unfortunately the power play didn’t work to Grand Forks’ advantage as they went 0 for 9. The game saw Grand Forks goals scored by Mitchell Pearson and Graham Watkins; assists to Matt Lucero and Lucas Robinson. Second game star went to goalie Jacob Mullen of the Bruins.
For the next two games the Bruins faced the Spokane Braves, with each team trading shut-out victories with the other.
In the Friday (Sept. 26) night game in the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena, the Bruins beat the Braves by a score of 3 – zip; that despite being outshot 40 to 27 by the Braves.
The Bruins did a fine job of penalty killing, shutting the Spokane team down in all eight of their power play attempts. At the same time Grand Forks capitalized on one of five power play opportunities. Goals went to Lincoln Lane, Michael Rand and Tucker Brown; assists to Lane, Rand, Brown, Max Newton, Reid Robertson and Lucas Robinson. First star went to goalie Kiernan Matsuba.
The tables were turned when the Bruins travelled to Spokane on Sunday, Sept. 28: this time the Braves blanked the Bruins 8 – 0. Shots on goal were 40 for Spokane and 24 for Grand Forks. Bruin forward Newton took second star.
Back in Grand Forks last Friday (Oct. 3) the Bruins took a 6 – 5 overtime win against the Beaver Valley Nighthawks. The Bruins were again outshot, this time 35 – 25. Grand Forks was able to kill two of the three Beaver Valley power plays; and they capitalized on their own single power-play opportunity.
Newton got two goals and an assist, Rand two goals, single goals to Coleton Dawson and Lucerno. Assists went to Steele Anderson 2, Coleman MacDondald 2, Brown 1, Lane 1, Jeremy McGregor 1 and Keven Moreau 1. Rand was first star for the Bruins.
On Saturday, Oct. 4 the Bruins travelled to Spokane again. It was a good trip for the Bruins, they took a 2-1 double-overtime win; despite being outshot 67 to 45.
Grand Forks was 0 for 3 on the power play; while Spokane went 1 for 6.
Kyle Doak got a goal and an assist, Rand a goal and Lucerno and Watkins each got an assist. Second star for the game went to Bruin forward Kyle Doak.
The Bruins travel to Fernie on Friday night and then return to home ice on Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. They have another home game on Sunday at 2 p.m. when they take on the Revelstoke Grizzlies.
“We’re getting into the season now,” said Snyder, “getting our lines settled. The players are starting to feel more comfortable.
“It is a learning process for everybody on the team—coaching staff and players. I am a new coach from Manitoba and we have players from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Utah and everywhere else. It is a process to get to know all of your players and bonding together—then you start getting a little bit stronger.”