GRAND FALLS – Dominic Leblanc’s third goal of the game, scored with only 14 seconds remaining in regulation time, gave the Grand Falls Rapids a 5-4 victory Sunday afternoon against the visiting Fredericton Red Wings.

Leblanc scored the game winning goal on a backhand shot after taking control of a rebound in front of the net, beating netminder Matthias Savoie when it appeared that both teams would be going into extra time. The Red Wings had tied the score mid-way into the the third period on a power play goal from Nathan Kelly.

Nick Tremere’s squad finishes the first weekend of play with a .500 record, which gives the team two precious points in the standings before hitting the road for Nova Scotia for games next Friday and Saturday night.

“Today’s win was a good response from the team after the loss Friday night”, mentions the Rapids’ head coach. “The group asked for an extra practice Saturday to work on the areas of the game we fell short on against Summerside. To me, that shows a high level of maturity and desire to be better in our team”, adds Tremere.

The Rapids took control of the game early in the opening frame, scoring at 2:16 on Dominic Leblanc’s first of the game. Leblanc beat Red Wings’ starting netminder Christian Sbaraglia on the short side after receiving a perfect pass in front from Tommy Bouchard who finished the weekend with 5 points (3g 2a).

Grand Falls doubled its lead at 4:44 while on the power play when Kyle Foreman, alone in front of the net, scored on a backhand shot.

The Red Wings reduced the margin to 2-1 on a goal from Sasha Charbonneau at 6:36, but the Rapids regained a two-goal advantage once again on the power play at 14:56. Well positioned at the point, defenseman Joachim Matulu beat Sbaraglia on a slap shot for his first tally of the season. It was the Rapids second power play goal of the period.

Shots on goal through twenty minutes of play were 11-10 in favour of Fredericton.


The Red Wings dominated most of the middle frame as they scored early, once again cutting the Rapids’ lead to one goal. From behind the net, Slava Melikov was able to come out in front, beating DiMattia from up close with only 23 seconds that came off the clock.

Grand Falls was unable to establish much offense in the second period as penalties became a problem early on, leaving their opponents with quality time of puck possession. Goaltender Gio DiMattia had to be solid between the pipes, shutting the door on a number of occasions.

However, with under two minutes remaining, Fredericton tied the score on an odd-man rush on a one-timer goal from Logan Carruthers.

However, with only 33 seconds remaining following a face-off win, Zac Arsenault’s shot was initially blocked, but Dominic Leblanc put in the rebound to give the Rapids a 4-3 lead through two periods of play. It was Leblanc’s second tally of the contest.


It was a more defensive-minded start to the third period by both teams, even though a number of players on both sides visited the penalty box. It was actually on a power play that the Red Wings were able to tie the score at 10:39 on Nathan Kelly’s first goal of the season.

And when it appeared that the game was headed into overtime, Dominic Leblanc completed his hat trick at 19:46, giving the Rapids the victory.

Fredericton dominated the game in shots on goal, 33 to 29.


The Rapids will play their next game on Friday night (7 pm) as they visit the Valley Wildcats. Then on Saturday night, Grand Falls will be in Amherst to play the Ramblers, also starting at 7 pm.


Patrick Thibault



*Dominic Leblanc led the game offensively for the Rapids with a solid performance of 3 goals and 1 assist.

Zac Arsenault and Tommy Bouchard both finished the game with 2 assists.

For the Red Wings, Nathan Kelly and Slava Melikov both finished with 1 goal and 2 assists.

*Three stars of the game: 1- Dominic Leblanc (GFR); Nathan Kelly (FRW); 3- Tommy Bouchard

*Game attendance: 480 spectators



2:16 GFR Dominic Leblanc (2) ASST: Tommy Bouchard (1)
4:44 GFR Kyle Foreman (1) ASST: Dominic Leblanc (2) (PP)
6:36 FRW Sasha Charbonneau (1) ASST: Nathan Kelly (1), Slava Melikov (1)
14:56 GFR Joachim Matalu (1) ASST: Jeremie Gagnon (1) (PP)
0:23 FRW Slava Melikov (1) ASST: Nathan Kelly (2), Sasha Charbonneau (1)
18:02 FRW Logan Carruthers (1) ASST: Matt Gauthier (1), Sam Campbell (1)
19:27 GFR Dominic Leblanc (3) ASST: Zac Arsenault (2)
10:39 FRW Nathan Kelly (1) ASST: Slava Melikov (2), Logan Carruthers (1) (PP)
19:46 GFR Dominic Leblanc (4) ASST: Tommy Bouchard (2), Zac Arsenault (3)