BRIDGEWATER (NS) – The Rapids earned their 8th victory of the season on Thursday night and their 6th win in their last seven games as they returned to Nova Scotia for a couple of back-to-back contests.
Thanks to a two-goal performance by Yannic Bastarache and some solid defense and goaltending from Frederic Plourde, the Rapids skated away with a 3-1 victory over the South Shore Lumberjacks.
Bryce Thomson also found the back of the net for the Rapids while Brandon Abbass was the lone goal scorer for the Lumberjacks.
The Rapids season record is now at 8 wins and 7 losses for 16 points. They now stand in third spot in the Eastlink North division standings, 3 points behind the Campbellton Tigers for second position.
South Shore outshot Grand Falls 28 to 23 in a game that ended with a couple of fights in the last couple of minutes of play in regulation. Besides scoring his 11th and 12th goals of the season, Yannic Bastarache also dropped the gloves while being named the first star of the game.
Bastarache opened the scoring for the visitors at 5:20 of the first period while his team was on the power play. He scored on a one-timer on a beautiful pass from Dominic Leblanc, leaving no chance for netminder William Forbes to react to the shot.
It was the only goal of the period as both teams skated off with 10 shots apiece.
The Rapids added two more goals in the middle frame, thanks in part by critical defensive errors from their opponents in their own end.
Bryce Thomson brought the score to 2-0 at 7:12 after taking control of a loose puck in the South Shore end. It was Thompson’s 4th goal of the season.
Then at 15:21, Yannic Bastarache took advantage of a miscue in the neutral zone as he scored on a breakaway with a perfect shot on the stick side of the Lumberjack goalie.
The Rapids led 3-0 after two periods of play.
The Lumberjacks responded early in the third as Brandon Abbass sent a wrist shot over the glove of Frederic Plourde with only 1:13 played in the period. That goal gave the Lumberjacks some life and some momentum, but Plourde made some key saves to keep the Rapids ahead by two goals.
The Rapids also played great defensively, avoiding mistakes at all costs.
Special teams were also a factor in this game as the Rapids scored once on two power play opportunities while The Lumberjacks went scoreless in three PP chances.
The Rapids return to action on Friday night in Yarmouth as they will clash with the Mariners for a 7pm contest.
*Yannic Bastarache scored his 7th power play goal of the season in the first period. It was also the Rapids’ 19th power play goal of the season as they lead the league in PP efficiency at 33.3%.
*Bryce Thomson had 1 goal and 1 assist for the Rapids on Thursday night.
*Game attendance: 399 spectators
*Three stars of the game: 1- Yannic Bastarache (GFR) 2- Brandon Abbass (SSL); 3- Bryce Thomson (GFR)
|Yannic Bastarache (11) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (10) (PP)
|Bryce Thomson (4) ASST: None
|Yannic Bastarache (12) ASST: Bryce Thomson (3)
|Brandon Abbass (5) ASST: Jake MacDonald (5), Nathan Carter (11)