While many enjoyed time off from work and other duties last weekend for Thanksgiving, the Grand Forks Border Bruins were working overtime.
In back-to-back games, in Creston on Friday and at home the next evening against the Fernie Ghostriders, our junior hockey team played into double overtime.
Against Creston Valley, the Bears found themselves trailing 4-2 late in the second period but a late power play goal by Chad Grambo, his first of two, pulled them within one entering the final frame.
Midway through the third they tied it when Conner Brennan, with an outstanding effort, set up Trey Mason for his second marker of the game.
However, just over a minute later the Thunder Cats would move ahead 5-4 with a goal by Sebastian Kilcommons. Silas Johnson, with four minutes remaining in the game, evened the score once again with his third goal of the season.
Two sudden death overtime periods would solve nothing in this entertaining 5-5 tie. Creston dominated in the extra time, outshooting the visitors 10-1 but Anthony Galliart was brilliant in the Bruins goal, salvaging a point in the standings for his team.
Bruins’ leading scorer, Dylan Haney, picked up three assists, to move into third place in league scoring.
The Bruins arrived home at three in the morning to get ready for their first match of the season against Fernie.
Johnson was penalized 20 seconds into the game and the visitors capitalized, grabbing an early lead on a fluke goal from Justin Peers. Grand Forks goaltender Tyler Loura would like to have that one back as it was scored from a near impossible angle.
Bruins first year defenceman Yoan Rodrigue notched his fifth goal of the season on a power play to tie it. The teams traded goals in each of the last two periods.
The home team sent the game into extra time in dramatic fashion. During a frantic scramble around the Fernie net, Logan Klatt, scored on a buzzer -beater as the puck crossed the goal line with a mere fraction of a second remaining.
The overtime was as a wild as it usually is; four on four (players) in the first OT and three on three in the second. Grand Forks was penalized only 10 seconds into the second overtime period, resulting in a penalty shot for the visitors; Loura came up with the save of the game on Mitch Titus to keep his team in it.
However, the entertaining contest would end just 37 seconds later when Peers scored the winner, his second goal of the game. This stopped the Border Bruins’ unbeaten streak at five games.
Conner Brennan with his third of the season was the other Bruins scorer.
In speaking with general manager and head coach Emery Olausen after the game, he felt the team was a bit fatigued after their late arrival from Creston.
He also indicated that the Bears’ power play was not as effective as it has been from the start of the year, exposed during a two-man advantage in the middle period when they failed to score. This may have been the turning point in the hockey game. The Bruins power play leads the league, scoring 18 times – 13 of these goals coming at home.
In my opinion, another factor in the defeat was the loss of forwards Brady Berger and Garrett Brisebois, who each received game misconducts in the first half of the game.
The Bruins travel to Nelson on Friday, then back to the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena on Saturday to face the Kimberley Dynamiters, defending Kootenay Conference champions. Game time is 7 p.m.