GRAND FALLS – Marc Richard was the only player on both sides to score in the shootout frame as the Summerside Western Capitals defeated the Grand Falls Rapids 7-6 on Friday night.
Richard was the 9th player to try to find a way to beat the opposing goaltender, and he did so by sending a shot over Gio DiMattia’s blocker.
The 5-minute overtime period was an exciting one to say the least, as scoring chances were very much present from end to end. It was the goalies that stole the show, making key saves on breakaways in the last few seconds of play.
For the Rapids, it was only a second extra time loss this season as they added a 26th point in the standings. Despite being officially eliminated from the playoff picture, Nick Tremere’s squad can be proud of the way they played against the top team fom the league not only on Friday night, but over the course of the last three meetings.
Just as they did in their last matchup over in Summerside, the Rapids took an early 2-0 lead over the Capitals, scoring twice before the mid-way point of the first period.
At 42 seconds of play, a turnover by the Western Capitals produced a two-on-one break the other way. Alexis Cournoyer fed a perfect pass in front of the net to Joakim Bergeron who tapped the puck behind netminder Jacob Leblanc for his 17th goal of the season.
Then at 8:47, a shot from the point hit the backboards behind the Summerside goal. The puck came back suddenly over the net and Yannic Bastarache was there to tap in the rebound for his 15th tally of the season.
The Western Capitals cut the lead in half late in the period on a power play goal at 18:58. Ed McNeill’s low shot went through traffic, beating goaltender Gio DiMattia.
However, the Rapids regained a two-goal lead with only 1.5 seconds remaining. As defenseman William Théberge was able to save the puck from crossing the blue line, he sent a shot that went right on the netminder. Yannic Bastarache was once again well positioned in front to put in the rebound, scoring his second of the night and his 16th of the season.
The game saw many misconduct penalties late in the frame, resulting in a few ejections on both sides.
Summerside led 10 to 9 in shots on goal through twenty minutes of play.
A total of 6 goals were scored in the middle frame as both teams skated off to a 5-5 tie.
Josh MacDonald scored Summerside’s second goal at 1:00 of play, which was followed by a flurry of goals in a span of only 1:01. Following a faceoff win in Summerside territory, Isaac Wilson came along the boards and sent a wrister past the Grand Falls’ goalkeeper to tie the score 3-3. Only 22 seconds later, Aaron Brown tipped a pass into the back of the net to give the visitors their first lead of the night.
The Rapids tied the score only seconds later as Yannic Bastarache completed his hat trick, using his backhand to tie the score 4-4 at 9:06.
Marc Richard gave Summerside a 5-4 lead at 12:36 with his 21st of the season, but Dominic Leblanc, also with his 21st of the campaign, tied the score for Grand Falls at 15:55 with a perfect wrist shot from the face off circle.
This wild second period saw the Western Capitals dominate in shots on goal, 24 to 8.
Both teams got on the board in the third period. The Rapids took a 6-5 lead at 1:04 on Jérémie Gagnon’s one-timer. It was Gagnon’s 3rd goal of the season.
Summerside tied the game once more at the 6-minute mark, courtesy of Thomas Lacombe who netted his 21st of the season.
The Rapids thought they had taken the lead with 2:25 left in the period when Yannic Bastarache found the back of the net, but the referees called goalie interference on the play, wiping out what would have been Bastarache’s 4th goal of the night.
Summerside sent a total of 53 shots on goal in the contest in comparaison to 27 for Grand Falls.
The Rapids will play their next game on Wednesday night as they host the Truro Bearcats. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
*Yannic Bastarache had a great game offensively for the Rapids with 3 goals and 1 assist.
Joakim Bergeron, Jeremie Gagnon and Dominic Leblanc each posted a record of 1g and 1a for Grand Falls while Alexis Cournoyer collected 2 assists.
For Summerside, Isaac Wilson and Thomas Lacombe each ended the game with 1g and 1a.
*The Western Capitals were 1 for 7 in power play opportunities on Friday night while the Rapids were shutout in only two PP tries.
*Three stars of the game: 1- Yannic Bastarache (GFR); 2- Isaac Wilson (SWC); 3- Alexis Cournoyer (GFR)
*Game attendance : 555 spectators
0:42 GFR Joakim Bergeron (17) ASST: Alexis Cournoyer (15)
8:47 GFR Yannic Bastarache (15) ASST: None
18:58 SWC Ed McNeill (5) ASST: Sid McNeill (11) (PP)
19:59 GFR Yannic Bastarache (16) ASST: William Theberge (7)
0:43 SWC Josh MacDonald (31) ASST: None
8:05 SWC Isaac Wilson (3) ASST: Thomas Lacombe (26)
8:27 SWC Aaron Brown (20) ASST: Isaac Wilson (11)
9:06 GFR Yannic Bastarache (17) ASST: Alexis Cournoyer (16), Joakim Bergeron (16)
12:36 SWC Marc Richard (21) ASST: Riley MacDougall (4)
15:55 GFR Dominic Leblanc (21) ASST: Drew Johnston (6), Jeremie Gagnon (11)
1:04 GFR Jeremie Gagnon (3) ASST: Dominic Leblanc (26), Yannic Bastarache (19)
6:56 SWC Thomas Lacombe (21) ASST: Colby MacArthur (45)