Bruins MVP, Captain Ray Warrack (centre), poses for photo with (L-R) Coach Dave Hnatiuk and assistant coaches Shane Gorman and Igor Agarunov at the team’s awards banquet Family Day Monday, Feb. 21. Photo: Submitted

Bruins MVP, Captain Ray Warrack (centre), poses for photo with (L-R) Coach Dave Hnatiuk and assistant coaches Shane Gorman and Igor Agarunov at the team’s awards banquet Family Day Monday, Feb. 21. Photo: Submitted

Grand Forks Border Bruins wrap up regular season, celebrate players

The Bears picked up their fifth season win against Castlegar

Submitted by Kevin McKinnon, Broadcast Coordinator for the Grand Forks Border Bruins

The Border Bruins final two games of the 2021-2022 season were played over the Family Day long weekend.

Starting in Castlegar on Friday night, Feb. 18, for their last meeting with the Rebels, the Bruins looked to redeem a close one-goal loss to the Rebels the previous Tuesday. Cody Quinney got the Grand Forks squad on the board first with a mid-first period goal from Ray Warrack, but Tymon Sanikopoulos tied the game on the power play before the first was through.

A pair of Bruins goals in the first minutes of the second period by Ollie Morberg and Walker Douglas pushed the team to a 3-1 lead, cut back to a one-goal advantage when Jacob Moldenhauer scored mid-way through the frame.

Bruins’ Fan Favorite Jameson Flint poses for a photo with (L-R) Head coach Dave Hnatiuk and assistant coaches Shane Gorman and Igor Agarunov and guest presenter Betty-Anne MacKay at last Saturday’s awards banquet in Grand Forks. Photo: Submitted

Bruins’ Fan Favorite Jameson Flint poses for a photo with (L-R) Head coach Dave Hnatiuk and assistant coaches Shane Gorman and Igor Agarunov and guest presenter Betty-Anne MacKay at last Saturday’s awards banquet in Grand Forks. Photo: Submitted

The Bruins held the Rebels back through the third period, with Jonah Smith scoring on the empty net in the final seconds, when relief goaltender Matteo Hueston was pulled for the extra attacker. The final score in Castlegar was 4-2, giving the Bruins their fifth win of the season (two vs. Castlegar, three vs. Beaver Valley).

The Bruins wrapped their season in Nelson on Saturday, Feb. 19, with the Leafs dominating through most of the game. In the first two-and-a-half periods, Nelson scored seven times, with goals from Gordon, Boyd, Goodwin, Brockett, and Anklewich, plus a pair of powerplay goals for Lautard.

The Bruins were not going to go quietly, and with under four minutes remaining in the game Ollie Morberg scored the Bear’s lone goal from Ray Warrack and Jameson Flint, with the Leafs taking a 7-1 victory at home.

A number of Bruins parents were in town for the long weekend, taking in the road games in Castlegar and Nelson while staying for the Bruins end-of-season awards banquet on Monday, Feb. 21. All of the players were recognized for their efforts throughout the season, with specific acknowledgement to the following.

Fan Favorite: Jameson Flint

Players Choice: Ollie Morberg

Rookies of the Year: Justin Dueck and Ethan Shebansky

Most Sportsmanlike: Nickolie Horkoff

Top Defenceman: Brydon Bell

Top Forward: Matteus Reis

Most Valuable Player: Ray Warrack

The home games this season drew respectable crowds, even mid-week, and the Bruins’ broadcast team agreed that the games were generally fun to watch, even when the outcome was tilted the wrong way. The players Coach Hnatiuk assembled for this season, a rebuild year if ever there was one, gave their full effort and kept the gameplay entertaining.

Goaltenders Dueck and Shebansky finished the season with save percentages better than 90 per cent, each facing over 900 shots apiece through the season. Dueck was the lone goaltender in the game for the final match in Nelson, with Shebansky being called up to play backup for the Trail Smoke Eaters. He’s played a period-and-a-half in two games so far with Trail.

The Border Bruins will be co-hosting an identification camp in Grand Forks over the first weekend in April along with the B.C. Hockey League’s (BCHL’s) Nanaimo Clippers. This camp will give Bruins and other regional players exposure to the BCHL and also hopefully draw players who might make the Bruins’ roster for next season.

Although the Bruins’ season ended with the onset of KIJHL playoffs, there’s really no such thing as an off-season and work continues to get things ready for the fall.

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