by Gerry Foster
The Grand Forks Border Bruins opened the 2016-17 season at home last Saturday against division rival Beaver Valley in front of over 400 fans.
It was a gut-wrenching contest which ended in a 1-1 double overtime tie.
Goals may have been scarce but the game featured just about everything else, including 129 minutes in penalties. In fact, the penalty boxes at Jack Goddard Memorial Arena were as busy as a hotel in tourist season. The No Vacancy sign was up most of the night!
The local fans erupted late in the first stanza when Bears captain Chad Grambo scored on the power play, from Conner Brennan and Dylan Haney. The lead held until Jaxen Gemmell broke through for the Nitehawks, knotting the score five minutes into the third.
The goaltenders were totally engaged and put on a stellar display of puck stopping. First star of the game was unquestionably Anthony Galliart. This netminder from Kansas City, Kansas was superb last year in his first season in Grand Forks. On this night he was magnificent!
How did he feel after the game? He said with a grin, “My legs hurt!” He also feels the Bruins should be off to a faster start than last year.
The team crossed the border the next day for an afternoon matchup with Spokane Braves. The game and results were the exact opposite from the night before as the two teams combined for 14 goals in an 8-6 Spokane win.
Tyler Loura was in the nets for Grand Forks and it was a rough start for the young goalie from Osoyoos. He allowed seven goals before being pulled.
Tyler demonstrated in his brief appearances last season that he has the skills to be a capable goaltender in this league and will bounce back from an inauspicious start.
Making their debut in a Bruins uniform were Noah Lemoine from Manitoba and Yoan Rodrique from Sherbrooke Quebec; an impressive start, as they each tallied a goal. Lemoine led the Westman High School League in athe keystone province in scoring in 2015-16.
Rodrigue just arrived in Grand Forks last Tuesday; he was the top scoring defenceman for the Bishop’s College School in Sherbrooke.
Other scorers for Grand Forks in their loss in Washington State were Dylan Haney with a pair, Trey Mason and Shayne Pluto. Jordan Robertson chipped in with three assists.
The team is on the road this weekend, playing two games against teams in the Eddie Mountain Division: Columbia Valley and Golden.
Next home games for the Bruins are Sept. 23 when they once again tangle with Beaver Valley, followed by another divisional contest two days later versus the Nelson Leafs.