FREDERICTON – The Grand Falls Rapids were a transformed team Saturday night in Fredericton. It was definitely a more convincing performance than the one obtained 24 hours earlier in a 12-3 loss to Miramichi.

The Rapids scored 9 goals for the first time this season as they defeated the Red Wings by a score of 9-3 despite being outshot in the contest 54 to 35.

Greg Leland’s squad came out strong and kept going until the very end, showing some intensity and speed. They were the hungrier bunch, determined to redeem themselves from an embarrassing performance the night before.

Four players found the back of the net twice for the Rapids: Josh Russell, Ethan Johnson, Dominic Deschênes and Dominic LeBlanc. Johnson was the most productive of the bunch with a performance of 2 goals and 2 assists.

The Rapids scored four times in the opening period. It all started at the 3-minute mark when Dominic LeBlanc beat Red Wings’ netminder Mathias Savoie on a one-timer. Only 38 seconds later however, Noah Standing tied the score for Fredericton with a slap shot from the faceoff circle.

Grand Falls answered back with three goals before the end of the period. Josh Russell scored on an odd-man rush at 9:02, followed by Mathis Huot’s 11th of the season at 17:08 and Russell’s second of the game at 19:39.

Shots on goal were even through twenty minutes of play, 13-13.

It was all Grand Falls in the second period as they scored on three occasions, despite a 25-shot outburst by their opponents.

Ethan Johnson beat Mathias Savoie with a low shot between the pads at 2:34. Dominic LeBlanc scored his second of the game at 8:24, followed by Johnson’s second of the contest at 10:51.

After two periods of play, the Rapids held a comfortable 7-1 lead.

Fredericton totaled 39 shots on goal at that point, showing the effectiveness between the pipes of Rapids’ goalkeeper Charles-Antoine Julien who had only allowed one goal through fourty minutes of play.

Two goals were scored on each side and by the same players in the final frame. Matthew Mueller scored both Red Wings’ goals while Dominic Deschênes did the same for the Rapids, his 2nd and 3rd of the season.

It was victory number 19 this season for the Rapids as they now have 39 points in the Eastlink North division standings, 3 pts less than the Red Wings who hold 5th spot in the division.

The Rapids return to home ice on Sunday afternoon (3pm) as they host the Campbellton Tigers.

Patrick Thibault


*Ethan Johnson led the way offensively for the Rapids with 2g and 2a. Other players who contributed were: Josh Russell and Dominic Leblanc (2g 1a), Dominic Deschênes (2g) and Ben Diamond (3a).

*The Rapids were scoreless on the power play on 2 occasions, but they did manage to score a shorthanded goal, courtesy of Dominic LeBlanc in the second period. It was LeBlanc’s 2nd shorthanded tally of the season.

*Game attendance: 818 spectators

*Three stars of the game: 1- Ethan Johnson (GFR); 2- Josh Russell (GFR); 3- Dominic LeBlanc (GFR)



3:15 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (25) ASST: Yannic Bastarache (40), Ethan Johnson (19)

3:53 FRW Noah Standing (3) ASST: Manix Sarrasin (19), Mathieu Pelletier (24)

9:02 GFR Josh Russell (8) ASST: Ethan Johnson (20), Alexandre Michaud (2)

17:08 GFR Mathis Huot (11) ASST: Josh Russell (7), Ben Diamond (29)

19:39 GFR Josh Russell (9) ASST: Mathis Huot (25), Ben Diamond (30)


2:34 GFR Ethan Johnson (3) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (22), Jonathan Cormier (9)

8:24 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (26) ASST: Hunter Gartley (1), Ben Diamond (31) (SH)

10:51 GFR Ethan Johnson (4) ASST: James Rogers (4), Adam Redding (4)


10:41 FRW Matthew Mueller (11) ASST: Carson Peer (9), Sam MacFarlane (13)

13:01 GFR Dominic Deschenes (2) ASST: Cole MacWilliam (3), Bryce Thomson (9)

17:00 GFR Dominic Deschenes (3) ASST: Cole MacWilliam (4)

17:22 FRW Matthew Mueller (12) ASST: Carson Peer (10), Evan Rector (2)