GRAND FALLS – Sam Archibald’s second goal of the game, scored at 43 seconds into overtime, gave the Truro Bearcats a 6-5 victory against the Rapids Wednesday night in Grand Falls.
It was a tight contest from beginning to end as the score was tied on five occasions. Defenseman Evan Bellamy, who made his return to the Rapids’ lineup after a 6-game absence, tied the game with less than 3 minutes remaining in regulation time. However, the Rapids were not able to notch their 20th victory of the season as the Bearcats skated away with their 31st win in their 50th game of the campaign.
Dominic LeBlanc gave Grand Falls an early lead, scoring just 15 seconds after the first puck drop. LeBlanc came in with speed in Bearcats territory, sliding the puck under the pads of netminder Connor Martin. It was goal number 28th this season for LeBlanc and his 100th as a Rapid.
Truro tied the score at 8:26 on Sam Archibald’s first of the game, but captain Yannic Bastarache put Grand Falls ahead once more with a wrist shot on the stick side of the Bearcats’ goalkeeper. It was Bastarache’s 26th tally of the season.
The Bearcats would tie the game with only 6 seconds remaining in the opening frame on a goal from Tanner Humber-Dredge as he beat netminder Charles-Antoine Julien with a top corner shot.
Both teams traded two early goals in the second period. Landon Miron gave the visitors the lead at 26 seconds, followed by Cole MacWilliam’s tying goal for Grand Falls at 2:19.
James Beaton put Truro once more in the lead at 7:37.
The Rapids lost two players to injuries early in the period as both Kobe Burt and Ethan Johnson had to leave the ice due to an injury.
Shots on goal through two periods of play were 33 to 20 in favour of Truro.
The Rapids tied the score 4-4 at 4:12 of the third period on James Rogers first of the season. Yannic Bastarache was the one who fed the pass in front of the net to Rogers who had left his post from the blue line.
Ex-Rapid Carter McCluskey put the Bearcats in front 5-4 at 11:41 on a two on one break. Evan Bellamy would however tie the game once again with his 6th goal of the season for Grand Falls at 17:30.
The Bearcats led the game in shots on goal, 46 to 30.
With a pickup of 1 point in the standings, the Rapids now have 40 points on the season, 2pts less than the Fredericton Red Wings who sit in 5th spot in the Eastlink North division.
The Rapids will play their next game on Friday night as they clash with the Edmundston Blizzard, starting at 7:30 pm at the Jean-Daigle Centre.
*Sam Archibald (2g 1a), Carter McCluskey (1g 2a) and Brendan Bays (3a) all led the way offensively for Truro.
Dominic LeBlanc was the Rapids’ leading scorer on Wednesday night with a performance of 1g and 2a. Yannic Bastarache also had a strong game with 1g and 1a.
*The Bearcats went 0 for 4 on the power play while the Rapids also went scoreless with the man advantage on 2 PP opportunities.
*Game attendance: 711 spectators
*Three stars of the game: Carter McCluskey (TRU); Dominic LeBlanc (GFR); Sam Archibald (TRU)
0:15 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (28) ASST: Jonathan Cormier (10), Josh Russell (8)
8:26 TRU Sam Archibald (19) ASST: Brendan Bays (40)
15:53 GFR Yannic Bastarache (26) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (23), Alexandre Michaud (3)
19:54 TRU Tanner Humber-Dredge (18) ASST: Brendan Bays (41), Carter McCluskey (24)
0:29 TRU Landon Miron (27) ASST: Brendan Bays (42), Carter McCluskey (25)
2:19 GFR Cole MacWilliam (8) ASST: Bryce Thomson (10), Adam Redding (6)
7:37 TRU James Beaton (11) ASST: None
4:12 GFR James Rogers (1) ASST: Yannic Bastarache (43), Dominic LeBlanc (24)
11:41 TRU Carter McCluskey (24) ASST: Sam Archibald (14)
17:30 GFR Evan Bellamy (6) ASST: Mathis Huot (28)
0:43 TRU Sam Archibald (20) ASST: Tanner Humber-Dredge (48), Jacob Christie (9)