GRAND FALLS – Cole MacWilliam and newcomer Damian Metastasio and each scored twice as the Rapids put an end to a five-game losing streak on Friday night, defeating the Fredericton Red Wings by a score of 5-3 at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.

It was a hard-fought battle as the Rapids never trailed in the contest. They scored three unanswered goals in the second period to take a 4-1 lead and held on in the final frame, despite a 16-shot outsburst by their opponents who came into the game with a 15-point lead over Grand Falls for the 4th and final playoff spot in the Eastlink North division standings.

Making his first appearance with the Rapids, Damian Metastasio did not wait long to make a good impression on his teammates and the fans, scoring the Rapids’ first goal at 5:30 of the opening frame after he took control of a loose puck to the side of the net.

However, former Rapid Carter McCluskey tied the score at 14:42 after going around two defensemen with speed before scoring on a backhand, beating Grand Falls’ netminder Adam Lecours.

Shots on goal through twenty minutes of play were even at 9-9.

The Rapids struck early in the second period, scoring twice before the first minute of play.

With the man advantage, defenseman Raphaël Denis, who was making a comeback to the lineup following an injury, sent a pass in front to Metastasio who scored his second goal of the night to put the Rapids ahead 2-1. The goal came at 44 seconds of play as newly named captain Jérémy Bélanger also picked up an assist.

Then only 13 seconds later, Cole MacWilliam came off the wing on an odd-man rush, beating Red Wings goalkeeper Yacine Chemrouk with a wrist shot to put Grand Falls ahead by two goals.

Tristan Sanchez would add Grand Falls’ third goal of the period following a rebound in front of the net. It was goal number 7 for Sanchez this season.

The Rapids had a 4-1 lead after two periods of play.

The Red Wings dominated the first few minutes of the third period, sending quality shots to the net. Cam Thomson reduced the margin for the visitors by scoring at 1:33, his 19th goal of the season.

Adam Lecours made some key saves to preserve the two-goal lead for the Rapids. Then Grand Falls would add a 5th goal at 11:02 on a wrist shot by Cole MacWilliam from the faceoff circle. It was MacWilliam’s second tally of the night and his 5th of the season.

The Red Wings would reply at 13:58 on Carter McCluskey’s second of the night and his 32nd of the campaign.

But the Rapids held on for the victory, their 9th of the season and their 5th on home ice.

The final tally in shots on goal was in favour of Fredericton, 35 to 27.

The Rapids will play their next game on Sunday afternoon (3pm) as they travel to Campbellton for a matchup against the Tigers. Only 2 points separate those two teams for 5th spot in the Eastlink North standings.


*Will Morrison also finished the game with 2 points on Friday night for Grand Falls with 2 assists.

Carter McCluskey (Fred.) led all scorers with a performance of 2g 1a.

*The Rapids went 1 for 5 on the power play while Fredericton was scoreless in 4 PP opportunities.

*Game attendance: 888

*Three stars of the game: 1- Adam Lecours (GFR); 2- Cole MacWilliam (GFR); 3- Damian Metastasio (GFR)

Patrick Thibault



5:30 GFR Damian Metastasio (3) ASST: Nick Beatty (1), Alexandre Michaud (2)

14:42 FRW Carter McCluskey (31) ASST: Manix Sarrasin (24)


0:44 GFR Damian Metastasio (4) ASST: Jeremy Boulanger (23), Raphael Denis (10) (PP)

0:57 GFR Cole MacWilliam (4) ASST: Will Morrison (8), Ty Hunter (6)

11:28 GFR Tristan Sanchez (7) ASST: Marco Leblanc (2), Marcellus Francis (4)


1:33 FRW Cam Thomson (19) ASST: Carter McCluskey (33)

11:02 GFR Cole MacWilliam (5) ASST: Devin Johnson (5), Will Morrison (9)

13:58 FRW Carter McCluskey (32) ASST: Cam Thomson (24), Slava Melikov (33)