BOUCTOUCHE – Penalties proved costly to the Rapids on Sunday night in Bouctouche as the West Kent Steamers scored four power play goals, leading them to a 6-3 victory at the J.K. Irving Centre.
It was the fifth meeting of the season between both teams as the Steamers won for the fourth time against Grand Falls, giving them sole possession of top spot in the Eastlink North division standings.
As for the Rapids, they remain at 14 points and in 6th spot in the North division, 1 point back of the Campbellton Tigers.
The Rapids were without their captain and top scorer Dominic LeBlanc, as well as goaltender Adam Lecours, both taking part this week in the Eastern Canada Cup in Trenton, Ontario.
The game started well for Grand Falls as they took a 1-0 lead at 14:17 on a power play tally by Ethan Johnson. Coming out of his own zone with speed, Johnson split two defensemen, beating netminder Xavier Fisk for his 4th goal of the season. Jules Delepoulle assisted on the Rapids’ first goal.
It didn’t take long however for the Steamers to tie the score. Olivier Beaudoin scored on a high shot while his team was playing with the man advantage, a goal coming at the 16-minute mark of the opening frame.
Two goals were scored in a span of only 6 seconds at the start of the second period. West Kent took the lead on Damon Englehutt’s nifty move in front of the net as he got by two Rapids’ players to score at 3:15. Then at 3:21, Ty Hunter’s wrist shot tied the score 2-2. Hunter’s goal, his second of the season, came while Grand Falls was playing four-on-four.
Then penalties became a factor afterwards for the Rapids. The Steamers scored two power play goals at 12:11 by Cam White and at 14:49 on Olivier Beaudoin’s second of the game.
After two periods of play West Kent held a 4-2 lead.
The Rapids were able to reduce the margin to a single goal early in the third period. From behind the Steamers’ net, Nicholas Brennan fed a pass in front to Marcellus Francis who scored his 5th of the season. But Samuel Massé’s power play tally at 14:07 gave West Kent a two-goal advantage once more. Thomas Johnson added the empty net goal at 18:29, his second of the game.
The Steamers led the contest in shots on goal, 38 to 32.
Gio DiMattia was in goal for the Rapids who will try to regroup for next weekend’s games on home ice against the Fredericton Red and the Campbellton Tigers, two division rivals they are currently chasing for a playoff spot.
*Cam White had a strong game offensively for the Steamers with 1g 3a. Samuel Massé (1g 2a) and Olivier Beaudoin (2g) also contributed.
No Rapids’ players picked up 2 points to their record on Sunday night.
*West Kent scored 4 times on the power play on 6 PP chances.
The Rapids scored once with the man advantage in 3 PP opportunities.
*Game attendance: 782
*Three stars of the game: 1- Cam White (WKS); 2- Olivier Beaudoin (WKS); 3- Samuel Massé (WKS)
14:17 GFR Ethan Johnson (4) ASST: Jules Delepoulle (12) (PP)
16:42 WKS Olivier Beaudoin (2) ASST: Samuel Massé (10), Xavier Roy (8) (PP)
3:15 WKS Damon Englehutt (4) ASST: Cam White (5), Aiden Diamond (6)
3:21 GFR Ty Hunter (2) ASST: Luc Morais (1)
12:11 WKS Cam White (5) ASST: Xavier Roy (9), Samuel Massé (11) (PP)
14:49 WKS Olivier Beaudoin (3) ASST: Xavier Roy (10), Cam White (6) (PP)
4:48 GFR Marcellus Francis (5) ASST: Tate Brenner (3), Nicholas Brennan (5)
14:07 WKS Samuel Massé (5) ASST: Cam White (7), Damon Englehutt (5) (PP)
18:29 WKS Thomas Johnson (2) ASST: None