Submitted by Kevin McKinnon
Grand Forks Border Bruins
With the holiday break rapidly approaching, the Border Bruins had a single game on the schedule last weekend hosting the Kimberley Dynamiters in their second meeting of the season.
Looking to make up for a 6-0 loss in Kimberley four weeks ago, the Bruins knew the Nitros would be a tough match having lost just two of their last 13 games.
Despite a few first period penalties, the Bruins held the Dynamiters to a single goal in the first period, Jayden Kostiuk’s sixth of the season. Kimberley added two more in the first half of the second period with a power play goal by Cam Reid and another at even strength by Luke Rothfos.
During the second half of the period, the Border Bruins took control of the game back. Ray Warrack chipped the puck ahead off the glass to get it around Cam Reid at the Bruins blue line. Jonah Smith spotted the play, coming around Reid to collect the puck and carried it into the Dynamiters end. Smith’s first shot deflected off Myles Hayne but came right back to him, and his second shot beat Trystan Self to put the Bruins on the scoreboard.
A minute-and-a-half later, Ray Warrack collected the puck at centre. With Jackson Smith in position for a possible rebound, Warrack’s shot from the right side beat Self over the left shoulder to pull the game within one.
The Bruins had a power play later in the period, and only needed 8 seconds to tie the game. Cody Laybolt got the puck back to Russell Kosec at the left point off the faceoff. Kosec played the puck to Carter Price at the right boards. He sent the puck back through Kosec and onward to Jonah Smith on the left side. Smith’s shot found the back of the net, and the second period ended in a 3-3 tie.
Smith secured himself a hat-trick late in the third period when a forward pass was intercepted by Kasey Miller, who had trouble handling the puck. Smith appeared out of nowhere to steal the puck and took a quick shot which beat Self to put the Bruins ahead for the first time in the game.
The Dynamiters pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker with 1:15 to play, but a pair of sloppy passes saw the puck twice cleared into their own zone running precious time off the clock, and the Bruins were able to hold the lead for a big win before the break in front on an ecstatic home crowd.
The win puts the Bruins in fifth place in the league going into the break, and 5 points ahead of the second-place Nelson Leafs to lead the Neil Murdoch division. The Beaver Valley Nitehawks are a point behind Nelson, with both teams having a game in-hand over the Bruins which will be played out before the Bruins’ next game.
The Bruins are now off until January, hosting the Nitehawks and Osoyoos Coyotes on the January 6-7 weekend. The light December schedule is offset by a very busy January, with Friday and Saturday games every weekend plus three Tuesday nights for a total of 11 games.
Enjoy the holiday break and get your Bruins merchandise ready for a busy January!