Mason sparks Bruins past Leafs in OT, Game six Friday in Grand Forks
Trey Mason picked a great time to snap out of a scoring slump.
The Bruins leading scorer netted the winner in overtime to spark the Grand Forks Border Bruins to a 4-3 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League overtime victory over the Nelson Leafs Thursday night at the NDCC Arena.
The win, the second in as many games for the Bruins, keeps the Boundary City squad alive in the best-of-seven Murdoch Division Semi Final. Nelson still leads the series 3-2 with Game six Friday in Grand Forks.
Mason, who led Grand Forks with 67 points this season, beat Kaiden Kreitz in the Nelson nets seconds into the second period of extra time.
Nelson appeared to be ready to advance to the second round of the KIJHL playoffs as the home side jumped to a 2-0 lead six minutes into the first period on goals by Jaiden LaPorte and Jack Karran — the latter coming on the power play.
However, the Bruins bounced back to even up the score before the period ended. Harrison Hunter scored on the power play before Liam Stalwick sent the Bruins into the dressing room feeling pretty good, having tied the game at 2-2.
Nelson once again took the lead when Ryan Piva scored unassisted in the second period.
But facing elimination, and trailing 3-2 late in the game, Mr. Goal Scorer for the Bruins, Riley Smoler, sent the game into overtime with his team-leading fifth goal of the playoffs.
Nathan Cohen-Wallis finished the game with two assists for the Bruins.
Nelson outshot the Bruins 32-30, but had little left in the tank during the overtime as the Bruins dominated play with a 12-4 advantage on the shot clock.
If a Game seven is needed, it will be played Saturday at the NDCC Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.
In the other Murdoch Division Semi Final, Bradley Ross scored the winner with 8:44 remaining in the game to lift Beaver Valley Nitehawks to a 3-2 victory over Castlegar Rebels Thursday night in the Sunflower City.
Connor Seib and Damon Kramer also scored for the Hawks, which now lead the series 3-2. Game six is Friday in Fruitvale. Beaver Valley held period leads of 1-0 and 2-1.
Ren Mason and John Moeller replied for Castlegar, losers of three straight games after taking the first two games of the series.
If a Game seven is required, it will be played Sunday afternoon in Castlegar. Game time is 2:15 p.m.
In the Eddie Mountain Division, Kimberley Dynamiters defeated Fernie Ghostriders 4-1 while Columbia Valley Rockies lead Creston 3-2 with Game six Friday in Invermere.