SUMMERSIDE (PEI) – The Grand Falls Rapids put an end to a 5-game losing streak on Tuesday night as they defeated the Summerside Western Capitals on the road by a score of 4-3.

Dominic LeBlanc scored the game winning goal at 10:54 of the third period, breaking a 3-3 tie. Yannic Bastarache scored twice for the Rapids, his 23rd and 24th goals of the season while Ben Diamond tallied his 20th of the campaign in the opening period.
Charles-Antoine Julien picked up the win between the pipes, his first since joining the team. Julien faced a total of 30 shots while the Rapids sent 29 shots on Summerside netminder Brandon Abbott.

The victory brings the Rapids’ record to 17 wins and 21 losses on the season for 34 points. They are now 10 points back of Miramichi for 4th spot in the Eastlink North division standings as the Timberwolves were defeated in Truro on Tuesday night.

The Rapids took an early lead on an innocent wrist shot from the Western Capitals’ blue line by Ben Diamond, which came at 1:01 of the first period. It took Brandon Abbott by surprise as the puck found the far corner of the net.
Summerside outshot Grand Falls in the opening period, 13 to 9. The Western Capitals had two power play opportunities in the period, but could not cash in.

Summerside tied the score 1-1 at 6:52 of the middle frame following a face off win in Rapids’ territory. Trentyn Crane’s wrister beat Julien at 6:52. Then at 11:52, Marc Richard gave the Western Capitals the lead with a backhander from the slot. The goal came with the man advantage.
The Rapids responded however, also on the power play, as Yannic Bastarache’s wrist shot went top shelf at the 15-minute mark of the period. Both teams would skate off the ice after forty minutes of play tied at 2-2.

Bastarache would add his second of the game at 5:10 of the third period, giving Grand Falls a 3-2 lead at that point. While playing with the man advantage, defenseman Evan Bellamy carried the puck inside the Summerside blue line, then fed a quick pass to Bastarache who scored on a one-timer.
Isaac Wilson would tie the score at 3-3 at 7:48. LeBlanc’s game winning goal came close to the mid way point of the period as he was among three Rapids’ players to come into Summerside territory. LeBlanc slid the puck under the goalie’s pads for his 17th goal of the season and his second winning goal of the campaign.

It was a great overall effort by the Rapids who were intense throughout the contest. It was a much-needed victory also and a confidence builder for sure with four more games on the schedule coming up leading to next Tuesday’s matchup against the Timberwolves in Miramichi.
Their next game will be on Thursday night as they travel to Fredericton to play the Red Wings at the Grant-Harvey Centre.

Patrick Thibault

*Four Rapids’ players finished the game with 2 points: Yannic Bastarache (2g), Ben Diamond and Dominic LeBlanc (1g 1a each) and Evan Bellamy (2a).
Trentyn Crane and Marc Richard both had records of 1g 1a for Summerside.

*Grand Falls scored 2 power play goals on 3 opportunities while the Western Capitals were 1 for 4.

*Game attendance: 610 spectators

*Three stars of the game: 1- Yannic Bastarache (GFR) 2- Evan Bellamy (GFR); 3- Sasha Charbonneau (SWC)

1:01 GFR Ben Diamond (20) ASST: Josh Russell (3), Mathis Huot (21)

6:52 SWC Trentyn Crane (26) ASST: Marc Richard (22), Landon Clow (18)

11:52 SWC Marc Richard (35) ASST: Trentyn Crane (39), Sid McNeill (29) (PP)

15:11 GFR Yannic Bastarache (23) ASST: Evan Bellamy (25), Dominic LeBlanc (18) (PP)

5:10 GFR Yannic Bastarache (24) ASST: Ben Diamond (25), Evan Bellamy (26) (PP)

7:48 SWC Isaac Wilson (14) ASST: Sasha Charbonneau (5)

10:54 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (17) ASST: Ethan Johnson (8)