by Marvin Beatty/Castlegar News
The Grand Forks Border Bruins took on the Castlegar Rebels for the third time this season, giving up six goals en route to a 6-2 loss to the defending KIJHL league champions.
The Rebels jumped out to an early lead as Diego Bartlett continued to find his scoring touch, finding the net twice in the opening frame.
Bartlett’s first came on the power play at 13:40 with Grad Forks leading scorer, Jackson Purvis, in the box for slashing. Seth Schmidt and Hunter Jenerou picked up assists to open the scoring.
His second beat Grand Forks’ starter Kai McDonald low on the glove side after faking out the Bruins defence with some stick-handling finesse in close. Derek Georgopoulos and Chase Reddin provided the passing leading to the goal.
Nate Rabbit faced just 10 shots in the first period, one more than his teammates delivered.
It was a busier second for both goalies though, as the shot clock jumped to 23-18 in favour of the Rebels and the Castlegar offence pounded McDonald for three more goals.
Georgopoulos put in the Rebs third just 36 seconds after the face-off, with Bartlett again getting involved on a scoring play; the second assist went to Reddin. Medeiros then took a perfect feed from Aaron Petten and banged one in the stick side to make it a 4 – 0 Rebels lead with 13:13 to play in the middle frame.
The Bruins finally got off the shut-out watch at 6:13 with a goal from Max Newton on the power play but the Rebels Medeiros answered back less than two minutes later to restore the four-goal lead at 5-1. Then, the hat-trick watch started for both he and Bartlett in the third.
Petten picked up his third point of the night with a backhand at 15:29 to take the Rebels lead to a commanding 6-1 but the spunky Bruins managed to pick up one more late in the final two minutes from Mitchell Dolman for a 6 – 2 final.