The Grand Forks Border Bruins secured their first win of 2011 with a 5-4 road victory over the Golden Rockets on Friday night.
Forward Artsiom Kalashnikov and netminder Ryan Ryman shone for the BBs with Kalashnikov chipping in a goal and two assists, while Ryman stopped 44 of 48 shots on net – the two were named first and third stars of the night respectively.
Team captain Randy Tosoff was high point man for the night, scoring a goal and setting up three others for four points and leading scorer Zach Thompson, affiliate player Jeremy Mcgregor and Yan Kalashnikov scored the other goals. The Border Bruins went 0 for 3 on the power play and allowed a power play marker in their one and only shorthanded situation.
The team finished the season off losing 5-1 to the Columbia Valley Rockies on Saturday night at Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena.
On Wednesday, Feb. 9, the team played its last home game of the season against the Castlegar Rebels and unfortunately, finished its home campaign with a 9-3 loss.
Young goalie Nathan Nicolson allowed four goals on seven shots and was replaced by Ryman. Artsiom Kalashnikov scored a goal while Zach Thompson netted a pair for the Border Bruins in a losing effort.
The Border Bruins allowed a number of affiliate players to see ice time in the final few games of the season, including Nicolson, Mcgregor and Tyler Van Camp.
“I felt a little nervous and just didn’t want to go into the corners as much but I did better than I thought I would, didn’t get hurt and just played my game,” explained Van Camp after Wednesday’s loss.
Jeremy Mcgregor, like Van Camp, also thought that he played decently, although he would like to have done some things differently.
“I think (my play) was not too bad. I had some problems getting the puck out of the zone and dumping it in wasn’t always the best but it was alright – it wasn’t my strongest game but it was decent,” the Christina Lake resident said.
Assistant coach Ward Faust had praise for the players.
“We’re quite happy with the way they performed. They’re still learning, they’re young kids but we’re very impressed with the way they played, it was really good,” Faust said after the Castlegar game.
“Van Camp, for the size he was, going out and hitting guys, was really impressive. Mcgregor had really good positional play.”
Finally, the team handed out its season awards on Feb. 10 and Zach Thompson was named MVP and earned team scoring leader and media choice awards – the latter being chosen by the webcasting crew.
Derek Grimm was voted the team’s best defenceman and was voted fan favourite.
Kale Erickson was the most improved player, Kevin Wong the most sportsmanlike, Dylan Sahara was rookie of the year and players choice winner, and the Kalashnikov brothers were co-winners of the award for inspiration, dedication and perseverance.