Galliart stones Nelson as Bruins shock Leafs Saturday at NDCC Arena
Brace yourself Kootenay International Junior Hockey League fans.
The hottest team, okay one of the hottest teams in the entire KIJHL is the Grand Forks Border Bruins.
The Bruins, long considered a bottom feeder in the KIJHL, won for the fifth straight time Saturday night at the NDCC Arena, knocking off the Nelson Leafs 2-1.
Grand Forks game star Anthony Galliart stopped 34 of 35 shots to register the Bruins first win in Nelson in years.
“We’re doing all the right things to put one away, but for us (right now) it’s tough scoring goals,” said Leaf assistant captain Blair Andrews.
“We’re getting lots of chances, we just have to find a way to put one away and that would have turned the whole game around.”
It’s not like the Bruins shocked the Leafs with bucket of goals.
However, two goals in a span of 32 seconds by Chad Grambo and Garret Brisebois, combined with an almost unbeatable Galliart was enough to steal one away for the Boundary City squad.
“(Grand Forks) has improved a lot this year, but I feel we’ve improved a lot too,” Andrews said when asked the new-and-improved Bruins.
“We just didn’t cone out to the best start . . . they got those two quick ones on us (in the first period) and it killed us in the long run.”
Leading 2-0 after 40 minutes, the Bruins continued to play the ideal road game, dumping the puck out and forcing the Leafs when the opportunity was presented.
However, in the late going the Bruins ran into penalty trouble.
Sensing a need to shake up the club, Leaf coach Dave McLellan pulled goalie Joseph Barton with five minutes remaining in the game to give Nelson a 6-on-4 advantage.
The Leafs didn’t score during that power play. But with just over two minutes remaining, captain Rayce Miller was able to finally beat Galliart.
Miller, Nelson’s game star, had a chance to tie the game less than a minute later, but rang his shot off the bottom of the post.
“I’m not sure what it is, maybe it’s us just getting our confidence back, but I think if we get a couple of goals would help get our scoring touch back,” said Andrews, trying to explain the offensive power outage plaguing the Leafs during the weekend.
“Overall we’re a team and we’ll get out of this problem as a team.”
Nelson, losing 5-1 to Creston Friday, drops to 12-9 on the season and sits two points ahead of the Bruins in third spot in the Murdoch Division.
The Leafs get a chance at redemption Tuesday when the club travels to Grand Forks for the back half of the home-and-home series.
Which Andrews believes, is a good thing.
BLUELINES: Nelson has won two of the three meetings with Grand Forks this season — both one goal victories. . . . Before the opening faceoff of Saturday’s game at the NDCC Arena, there was a moment of silence to pay homage to the victims of Friday’s shootings by terrorists in Paris, France . . . .Leaf defenceman Aigne McGeady-Bruce did not finish Saturday’s game, leaving the contest with an injury. . . .Newcomer Matthew Sokol was ejected during the second period for a fight with Jared Stang of the Bruins. Nick Novin was also sent to the dressing room in the third frame along with Connor Manegre of Grand Forks after an altercation around the Bruins’ net. . . .Next home game for Nelson is Friday against Beaver Valley Nitehawks.