The Grand Forks Border Bruins lost 3-2 to the Penticton Lakers on Saturday but in a season filled with more lows than highs, the cup was half full on this night.
Grand Forks was the designated home team at Midway’s Boundary Expo Recreation Centre and there were a lot of positives to take away, from the play of goalie Dylan Quinn to the three goals allowed – the fewest this season.
Forward Tyler Wagner scored first for the Border Bruins, defenceman Bryan Read scored the other goal and a goal scored in the third was waved off.
Interim head coach Matt Zamec lauded his netminder for his play, especially how he was able to bounce back from a poor performance against Beaver Valley two nights earlier – Quinn stopped 50 shots and had a save percentage of .943 on this night.
“He had a shaky start there on Thursday (Quinn was pulled in the first period after allowing four goals on six shots in the 11-2 loss to Beaver Valley) and that was the only time that he had a game off,” Zamec said.
“He’s given us a chance to stay in every game – that 5-2 game in Nelson we had a couple of weeks ago, he was outstanding and again on Saturday night.”
One of the problems plaguing this team throughout the season is a high number of shots allowed and while the team did allow 53, Zamec said that the shots really weren’t quality shots.
“A lot of (shots) did come on the power play and Penticton is a team that shoots from everywhere. After we settled down after the first 10 minutes, most of the shots were coming from the outside. Quinn settled into his groove and he’s going to stop those shots,” explained Zamec.
“It was a pretty high shot count but I wasn’t too worried about it; it wasn’t like Beaver Valley or Castlegar where they had a high shot count and they’re all dangerous shots from the slot or set up and one-timer shots.”
Zamec pointed out that the team fired 31 shots on net in its own right.
Unfortunately the Achilles’ heel on this night for the Border Bruins was the number of penalties taken, especially early on.
“The one thing I wasn’t very pleased with was four straight penalties that we took in the first period – Penticton had four straight power plays and scored three goals on (its) four power plays,” said Zamec, adding that made the difference in the game.
The team was even shorthanded before the puck dropped, as a player was late coming off the ice during warmup, prior to the start of the first, and thus drew a delay of game.
As for the disallowed goal, Zamec said the referee waved the goal off and told the Border Bruins’ bench the net was off its moorings before the puck crossed the line.
He said that the team’s board worked hard to have the game in Midway, as there was corporate sponsorship, prize giveaways and a good turnout (200 in attendance).
The team also played Midway affiliate player, defenceman Nick Bosovich, on Saturday, who Zamec said played well.
Grand Forks affiliate player Evan Sargeant tallied a goal in the team’s 11-2 loss to Beaver Valley on Thursday.
The team has home and away games against the Castlegar Rebels with a home tilt this Thursday (Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Grand Forks Arena) and Saturday, Jan. 21 in Castlegar.