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OCTOBER 21, 2020

Defence the focus for Border Bruins

Defence the focus for Border Bruins

KIJHL Communications


Rilee Poffenroth is among the key returnees for the Border Bruins.


Leading up to the start of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s 2020-21 season, which starts Nov. 13, 2020, the league is publishing team previews.

These stories will highlight areas of focus for the respective organizations as well as players. Our last preview featured the Golden Rockets and now we turn to the Grand Forks Border Bruins in Neil Murdoch Division.

Last season ended with the Border Bruins missing the Teck Cup playoffs by three points. Head coach-general manager John Clewlow say’s their biggest need to address was defence.

“As a team, we did not do a good job protecting our house,” says Clewlow. “We allowed way too many shots against and did not sacrifice enough to block shots. This year we are going to make sure that we start from our net and work our way out.”

Clewlow focused on recruiting and signing puck-moving defenceman, who he feels will help the forwards exit their zone with strong first passes. 

“Going into the first game, we are going to attack it like any other season,” says Clewlow. “We need to create our own atmosphere every game.

“I feel like our players are itching to get back, they all marked their calendars and cannot wait to start playing real games again,” he continued. “Who hasn’t been itching to get back to hockey?”

Incoming rookies:

Charlie Lockhart – defence - A very skilled D-man, who possesses good vision and has the ability to take control of a game.

Nick Morin – defence - A strong skating and stickhandling D-man with some offensive power.

RJ Dickey – forward - An all-around forward, the Border Bruins think will become a powerful player in the league.

Key Veterans:

Rilee Poffenroth - named captain- Poffenroth is a strong leader. The Border Burins are looking for him to guide the new players on and off the ice.

Cole Jensen - assistant captain - He has been a strong D-man for the Border Bruins. He will be look upon to help guide the returning and new players.

Gavyn Entzminger -  A late season acquisition last year, he turned out to be a very important addition. Entzminger is a well-liked teammate by the players as well as the coaching staff. He brings the hard work as well a good laugh.

Clewlow is driven to make the Border Bruins a very strong defensive team. They will protect their net, then take the puck down the ice and grind the opponent down. 

“We have the forwards that can put the puck in the net,” he says. “We just need to minimize our shots against and get the forwards the puck and out of our zone.”


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