GRAND FALLS – Defenseman Evan Bellamy scored with only 18 seconds remaining in regulation time, giving the Grand Falls Rapids their first home ice victory of the season as they defeated the Yarmouth Mariners 5-4 on Friday night.
Trailing 4-1 at the mid way point of the contest, the Mariners came back to tie the score early in the third period. Ben Diamond and Dominic Leblanc scored twice for the Rapids while Ryan Semple also added a pair for the visitors.
Special teams were the story of the game, especially for the first two periods of play as the Rapids scored three times with the man advantage. They now total 14 PP goals on the season which is among the league’s best in that department.
Ben Diamond was credited with the Rapids’ first goal in the opening period as he tipped in a shot from Dominic Leblanc from the faceoff circle. It was a power play tally coming at the 11-minute mark of the period.
It didn’t take long for the Mariners to respond, also on the power play, as Jerome Nadeau scored on a rebound in front of the net, tying the score at 1-1.
The Rapids added a second goal with only 12 seconds into another man advantage. Evan Bellamy sent the puck across to Dominic Leblanc who scored on his trademark one-timer from the slot, giving Grand Falls a 2-1 lead through twenty minutes of play.
Shots on goal at that point were 13-7 in favour of the Mariners.
Grand Falls came out strong in the second period, capitalizing on another power play at 8:12. After Evan Bellamy’s shot went off the back boards, Ben Diamond took control of the rebound, scoring his 4th of the season and his second of the game.
Then Dominic Leblanc made it 4-1 for Grand Falls at 10:52, scoring top shelf on Mariners’ netminder Christophe Beluse. It was Leblanc’s 5th goal of the season.
Yarmouth cut the Rapids’ lead in half however at 12:01 on Reilly Mayne’s 5th of the campaign as the Rapids held a 4-2 advantage after two periods of play.
The Mariners dominated the first few minutes of the third period, surprising the Rapids with two quick goals to tie the score. Ryan Semple found an empty net after taking control of a rebound at 1:18 before adding his second of the contest at 4:02, finding the far corner of the net.
It took until the final seconds of play to declare a winner. Following a faceoff win in the Mariners’ zone, Ben Diamond fed the puck to Dominic Leblanc who in return, sent a great pass to Evan Bellamy at the point who found the back of the net on a slap shot. Bellamy’s winning tally came at 19:42, ending the Rapids 4-game losing streak in style.
Dominic Leblanc ended his scoring drought with a solid offensive performance of 2 goals and 2 assists. Ben Diamond (2g 1a) and game hero Evan Bellamy (1g 2a) each picked up with 3 points each.
Frédéric Plourde faced a total of 39 shots on goal, earning his second victory of the season between the pipes. The Rapids sent 34 shots on Christophe Beluse of the Mariners.
The Rapids, who now have a 2-5 record this season, will be on the road Saturday night as they travel to Fredericton for a 7pm start against the Red Wings.
GAME NOTES :
*Yannic Bastarache and Mathis Huot both had 2 assists in the game.
Reilly Mayne (1 goal and 2 assists) led the way offensively for the Mariners.
*Grand Falls went 3 for 5 on the power play. Yarmouth scored 1 PP goal on 4 opportunities.
*It was the Rapids first game of the season against an Eastlink South team. Grand Falls now has a record of 1 win and 5 losses at home and 1 win and 0 losses on the road.
*Game attendance: 711 spectators
*Three stars of the game: 1- Dominic Leblanc (GFR); 2- Reilly Mayne (YAR); 3- Evan Bellamy (GFR)
11:23 GFR Ben Diamond (3) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (3), Mathis Huot (5) (PP)
14:03 YAR Jerome Nadeau (3) ASST: Ben Roode (4), Tyler Lee (4) (PP)
4:44 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (4) ASST: Evan Bellamy (6), Yannic Bastarache (4) (PP)
8:12 GFR Ben Diamond (4) ASST: Evan Bellamy (7), Mathis Huot (6) (PP)
10:52 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (5) ASST: Marc-Antione Belzile (2), Yannic Bastarache (5)
12:01 YAR Reilly Mayne (5) ASST: Jerome Nadeau (5), Jerome Gilbert (6)
1:18 YAR Ryan Semple (3) ASST: Reid Vos (2), Reilly Mayne (5)
4:02 YAR Ryan Semple (4) ASST: Kieran Burke (5), Reilly Mayne (6)
19:42 GFR Evan Bellamy (2) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (4), Ben Diamond (4)