BRIDGEWATER (NS) – Despite the spectacular performance of goaltender Gio DiMattia, the Grand Falls Rapids were shutout 2-0 by the South Shore Lumberjacks on Thursday night in the first of a two-game road trip in Nova Scotia.

DiMattia stopped 40 of the 42 shots he faced in the contest, and he was the reason why the game was kept close from beginning to end.

For Grand Falls, it was a 4th straight loss and a second defeat in a row by shutout.

The game was played under two hours (1h57 min.) as very few stoppages of play were whistled down.

The Rapids had some trouble getting things going offensively in the first period as they were outshot 20 to 5. Grand Falls was kept deep into its own territory, and it took a great performance from netminder Gio DiMattia to keep things even until the Lumberjacks finally scored on their 15th shot on net. Nathan Carter scored from the slot at the 14-minute mark, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.

The story of the game repeated itself in the middle frame. South Shore dominated puck possession and sent a total of 13 shots on DiMattia who remained the dominant figure on the ice.

The Rapids lost some precious time to get organized on offense as they spent 6 minutes in the penalty box in the first 10 minutes of play of the second. However, the penalty kill was at its best for Grand Falls as they held their opponents scoreless.

No goals were scored in the period as South Shore held on to a 1-0 lead after forty minutes of play.

The Rapids showed more intensity and urgency in the early stages of the third period and had their best chance to even the score at the 4-minute mark when South Shore was penalized with a double minor.

The Lumberjacks settled in after that missed opportunity and didn’t leave much space to their opponents in their own end. They added their second goal of the game with less than 5 minutes remaining in regulation time when Eli Reimer took a loose puck in front of the net, beating DiMattia on a low backhand shot.

South Shore dominated the contest in shots on goal, 42 to 14.

Robert Forbes registered the shutout for the Lumberjacks, picking up his third win in four starts between the pipes.

The Rapids will have to regroup quickly as they will face Friday night the Yarmouth Mariners who hold second spot in the Eastlink South division. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm in Yarmouth.

 Patrick Thibault




*Traded to the Rapids on Wednesday, Cameron Brown played his first game on Thursday night for Grand Falls. He was also playing against his former team.

*South Shore was scoreless on the power play in 6 tries while the Rapids had two opportunities to get on the board with the man advantage

*Three stars of the game: 1- Nathan Carter (SSL); 2- Gio DiMattia (GFR); 3- Eli Reimer (SSL)

*Game attendance : 237 spectators