GRAND FALLS — Conor MacLean’s goal, scored at 3:09 in overtime, gave the Grand Falls Rapids a 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon against the St.Stephen Aces in a Maritime Junior A League contest played at the E.&P. Sénéchal Center.
MacLean lifted the crowd, estimated at more than 1000 spectators in attendance, when he shot the puck in a wide open net after taking the rebound off teammate Chris Melendez’s stick. It was a 3rd goal for MacLean this season, helping his team win back-to-back games against the Aces over the weekend.
With the victory, Sandy MacCarthy’s squad now has a total of 6 points to its credit (3 wins and 1 loss) and is currently tied for second position in the East Link North division with Summerside and Edmundston.
The Aces, by picking up a point on Sunday, sit in first place with 7 points.
The Rapids couldn’t hold the lead in the final frame as the Aces came back with two unanswered goals to tie the score.
Noah Holm reduced the margin to 2-1 with a power play goal at 5:39. And less than three minutes later, Michael Waugh beat Rapids’ goalie Andrew Rose with a high wrist shot to bring the score to 2-2.
After a first period played without any goals scored, the Rapids were the first team on the board as they took advantage of a St.Stephen penalty early in the second frame. Brendan Bornstein took control of a rebound to put the Rapids in front at 1:55, the team’s 5th power play goal of the season.
And at 3:49, Jean-Simon Bélanger did not miss a breakaway opportunity, beating Aces’ goaltender Shawn Wiranata with a quick wrist shot.
Grand Falls, who dominated in shots on goal 15-8 in the period, took a 2-0 lead to the dressing room after forty minutes of play.
The two goalies stood their ground all game long as they made numerous key saves to keep their respective team in the contest. Wiranata was the busiest of the two however, facing more than 40 shots on goal. Andrew Rose picked up the win, his second this season for the Rapids.
Chris Melendez of GF is the only player on both sides to pick up more than one point in the game; he finished on the scoresheet with two assists.
By tallying the winning goal, Conor MacLean was chosen the first star of the game as goalie Andrew Rose was picked the third star.
The Rapids will play their next game on Friday night as they will host the Miramichi Timberwolves at 7:30pm at the E.&P. Sénéchal Center. The Timberwolves sit in last place in the East Link North division with a total of 3 points in 5 games.
Source: Patrick Thibault (Grand Falls Rapids)
GFR- Brendan Bornstein (1) (Dawson Wood; Chris Melendez) 1:55 (PP)
GFR- Jean-Simon Bélanger (3) (Brady Patterson; Mackenzie Mindus) 3:49
SSA- Noah Holm (2) (Evan White; Everett Hicks) 5:39 (PP)
SSA- Michael Waugh (1) (Zach Alcorn) 8:02
GFR- Conor MacLean (3) (Chris Melendez; Kyle Anderson) 3:09