After a promising start to the season, the Grand Forks Border Bruins are on the outside looking in once again come play-off time.
The Bruins started the season 3-0 and even after cooling off the team hovered around the .500 mark as they held on to the fourth and final play-off spot for the first half of the year.
However, the departure of popular coach and general manager Nick Deschenes and injuries to key players such as captain and top scorer Jackson Purvis and goalie Dominic Stadynk saw the team plunge into a slump that lasted most of the second half of the season culminating in the team going zero for February.
The Bruins’ season ended on a 10 game losing skid, capped off with a 10-5 loss to Princeton in the team’s final game.
The drubbing, which took place Saturday in Princeton, saw the Posse pull ahead 3-2 after one period, 6-2 after two, and finally getting four unanswered goals in the third for the 10-5 win.
Scoring for GF were Purvis with a pair, Tucker Brown, Michael Rand and Connor Gross.
Stadynk was in net for almost 47 minutes, giving up seven goals in 29 shots. Kai McDonald let in three goals in seven shots playing the other 13 minutes.
On Friday, the Border Bears took on the Castlegar Rebels and fell 5-3.
The Bruins led 2-0 early on goals from Rand and Purvis before giving up a late first period goal to the Rebels’ Aaron Petten.
The Rebs then scored two more unanswered goals in the second to take a commanding 4-2 lead.
Mitchell Pearson brought GF back to within one at 15:02 of the third period, assisted by Brandon Savaia and Lukas Peters.
Derek Georgopolous scored an insurance marker at 7:34 to put the game away for the visiting Rebels.
Stadnyk was solid between the pipes for the Bruins, stopping 65 of 70 Castlegar shots.
Grand Forks finishes with 16 wins, 32 losses, 2 ties and 2 overtime ties for 36 points, 12 behind Spokane for the final play-off spot and 45 behind division leading Nelson.
Connor Gross led the team in scoring with 32 goals and 73 points in 49 games. Jackson Purvis came second with 61 points in 38 games. Max Newton and Dakota Kittle tied for third with 42 points each.