Close but no cigar for Border Bruins so far in 2011

Goalie Garrett Muir turned aside 47 shots in a game between his Grand Forks Border Bruins and the Spokane Braves on Thursday

The Grand Forks Border Bruins lost a close game at the home barn to the Spokane Braves last Thursday night.

Within the first three minutes of the first period, the Border Bruins were down 2-0 and although they almost staged a comeback, ended up losing 4-3. Despite earning the L, goalie Garrett Muir stopped 47 of 51 shots and was named the third star of the game while forward Gary Mahesh earned second star honours on the strength of two goals – Artsiom Kalashnikov scored the other goal.

“It’s been tough,” explained Coach Jesse Dorrans when asked about the number of close games that Grand Forks has been in.

“It just goes to show that we’re right there. I don’t know, better losing by one goal than five goals.”

In 13 games with the Border Bruins this season, as of Monday, Mahesh, who played with the team last year, has seven goals and four assists for 11 points and Dorrans said that he has been a welcome addition to the team.

“At the beginning of the year, like every other kid, he wanted to try and catch on with a Junior A team. One day I got an email out of the blue and he wanted to come back and he was a guy that we were happy to have back,” said Dorrans.

This past weekend saw both the Prospects and All-Star game in Fernie with defenceman Mack Wallace played in the Prospects game while top-scorer Zach Thompson represented Grand Forks in the All-Star game.

The Okanagan Prospects defeated their counterparts from the Kootenay 6-4 while the Okanagan All-Stars were hammered by the Kootenay All-Stars 10-3.

In other news, Dorrans said that forward Artsiom Kalashnikov will be playing in the Under-18 World Championship and will represent his native Belarus in April.

After a road game in Castlegar last night (Tuesday), the Border Bruins host the Nelson Leafs on Thursday.

Jan. 12: Grand Forks 4 @ Nelson Leafs 5

After falling behind 4-0, Grand Forks almost stages a comeback. Cody Robertson, Kale Erickson, Cody Larsen and Gary Mahesh rippled the mesh for the Border Bruins.

Jan. 8: Grand Forks 3 @ Sicamous Eagles 4 (OT)

It was a close one but the Border Bruins lose in overtime in Sicamous. Zach Thompson, Gary Mahesh and Artsiom Kalashnikov scored goals for Grand Forks.

Jan. 6: Grand Forks 4 @ Kimberley Dynamiters 8

The Border Bruins suffer a four-goal road loss at the hand of the Dynamiters with Kimberley jumping out to a 5-0 lead before Grand Forks tallied its first goal in the second period.

Jan. 4: Castlegar Rebels 3 @ Grand Forks 1

The Border Bruins begin the new year with a home loss to Castlegar.

Joey Cormano chipped in the lone goal, set up by Kevin Wong and netminder Ryan Ryman , the game’s first star, stopped 32 of 35 shots fired his way in a losing effort.