Grand Forks Border Bruins players rally around goaltender Shane Zilka after conceding the game-winning goal to the 100 Mile House Wranglers in overtime on Nov. 6. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Weekend losses for Border Bruins stretch losing streak to six games

The Bruins have been outscored 38-14 over their last six games

Two away losses last weekend have stretched the Border Bruins’ losing slide to six games, and the team is only a third of the way through an extended road trip that doesn’t see them return to home ice at the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena until Dec. 6, when they face the Spoke Braves in Grand Forks.

As things stand, the Border Bruins have eight wins, 12 regulation losses and 2 overtime losses for 18 points as the team nears the midway mark in the season. Grand Forks still sits three points clear of the bottom-of-the-table Castlegar Rebels – but the Rebels have played three games fewer.

The Border Bruins’ latest losses, a 6-1 defeat in Princeton on Friday, followed by a 10-1 loss to the division-leading Nelson Leafs on Saturday, were routs by any count.

Starting goaltender Shane Zilka played all of the Princeton game, where he still managed to turn aside 37 shots. In Nelson, the 19-year-old was replaced by backup Dillon Beebe after allowing six goals in the first 35 minutes of the game. Even if the goalies had managed to muster some more luck, their teams were outshot mightily in both games by the opposition.

August Demaere’s name on the Nelson scoresheet proved to be one reassuring sign for the team. Late in the Border Bruins’ nail-biter 5-4 loss to the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Nov. 8, Demaere was bundled into the boards in the offensive corner from behind. He laid on the ice for at least 30 seconds as teammates beckoned medical staff onto the ice. With a little encouragement, the 20-year-old got to his feet and helped himself off the ice. His return to form is welcome by many.

The team will be looking to break its losing streak on Friday when they face the North Okanagan Knights in Armstrong.

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