The Grand Forks Border Bruins are heading to the play-offs for the first time in over 20 years. Despite falling to Castlegar Sunday at home in overtime, the Bruins clinched a play-off spot with the single point and a Spokane loss.
The Bruins fell behind early on in the second after giving up two power play goals in the first 11 minutes. Goals from Trey Mason at 8:10 and Nico Sidoni at 4:49 of the first evened the score.
Carson Woning put Castlegar up 3-2 with a late first period goal. GF tied the score again midway through the second period with Mason’s second goal. Chad Grambo put the Bruins up 4-3 with a power play goal at 15:20 of the third assisted by Bryson Yee and Logan Casavant. The Rebels were far from done though as Tyler Barrett evened the score with 11:27 left in the third. With no one scoring after that, the two teams headed for overtime.
Garrett Patterson scored the game-winner for Castlegar at the 4:27 mark of overtime assisted by Wornig and Barrett leaving Grand Forks with one-point for the overtime loss.
The single point moves the Bruins into sole possession of third place in the Neil Murdoch division and ensures a play-off spot for a squad that hasn’t tasted play-off action in over two decades. With only five wins and 14 points in 41 games, the fifth place Spokane Braves are mathematically eliminated. With four straight losses the Bruins sit at 16 wins-20 losses-4 overtime losses, good for 36 points.
The Border Bears will try to get back on track this weekend with an away game in Kelowna against the Chiefs and a home game Saturday against the Fernie Ghostriders.
Bear bites – Chad Grambo leads the bruins in scoring with 28 points (12 goals) in 24 games. Dylan Haney is second with 26 points (13 goals) in 37 games.