GRAND FALLS – It was a night to remember on Monday for the 20-year-old veterans who were playing their last game in a Rapids’ uniform. Not only were they honoured before the game in front of their fans, but they were also intent to leave an exclamation mark to their junior career with a huge game on their part as the Rapids defeated the Amherst Ramblers by a score of 6-4.
Ben Diamond scored twice, including his 100th and last MHL career goal in the third period. He also added two assists to his night’s work. Captain Yannic Bastarache also ended his junior A career in style with 1 goal and 3 assists. Frédéric Plourde got the win between the pipes, also in his last game in the MHL.
The four other players who were suiting up for the last time on Monday night were forwards Josh Russell (1 goal) and Mathis Huot (1 assist), defenseman James Rogers, as well as goaltender Charles-Antoine Julien.
With the score tied 2-2 entering the third period, the Rapids scored two quick power play goals to take a 4-2 lead. Ethan Johnson scored on a one-timer at 4:06 of the period, followed by Ben Diamond’s first goal of the game at 4:53 after he stole the puck from a defender in front of the crease.
Alex Savoie, with his second tally of the game for the Ramblers, cut the Rapids’ lead to 4-3 at 6:32 on a great rush from end to end. But Adam Redding restored the two-goal lead for Grand Falls at 7:49 with his 7th of the season on a wrist shot from the slot.
It became 5-4 with less than 7 minutes remaining in regulation time when Tristan Sanchez scored for the visitors.
Ben Diamond would however be the last player to score on both sides as he tallied his 34th of the season at 19:06 with the man advantage. It was also Diamond’s 17th power play goal of the campaign.
The Rapids jumped to a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes of play. Yannic Bastarache scored his 28th goal of the season on a tip in front of the net at 12:23. Josh Russell, with his 12th of the season, added the second goal for Grand Falls who dominated the period 18 to 4 in shots on goal.
Amherst answered back with two goals in the middle frame. Christian Reardon and Alex Savoie both scored for the Ramblers as the game was tied 2-2 after two periods of play.
The Rapids dominated the game in shots on goal, 58 to 21.
Greg Leland’s squad finishes the season in 5th spot in the Eastlink North division standings. Grand Falls is tied in points (44) with the Fredericton Red Wings, but the Rapids have earned one more victory (21) than the Red Wings, which puts them ahead in mthe standings.
*Ben Diamond (2g 2a) and Yannic Bastarache (1g 3a) both led the way offensively for the Rapids. Ethan Johnson (1g 1a) and Dominic LeBlanc (2a) also contributed with 2 points.
*The Rapids scored 3 goals on the power play on 4 PP opportunities. They now have 55 power play goals this season, which is the third best mark in the MHL.
*Game attendance: 662 spectators
*Three stars of the game: 1- Ben Diamond (GFR); 2- Jack Howatt (AMH); 3- Yannic Bastarache (GFR)
|12:23||GFR||Yannic Bastarache (28) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (30), Will Morrison (3)|
|17:01||GFR||Josh Russell (12) ASST: Mathis Huot (29), Ben Diamond (32)|
|1:14||AMH||Christian Reardon (5) ASST: Drew MacIntyre (4)|
|3:02||AMH||Alex Savoie (20) ASST: Gavin Watt (26)|
|4:06||GFR||Ethan Johnson (5) ASST: Ben Diamond (33), Yannic Bastarache (49) (PP)|
|4:53||GFR||Ben Diamond (33) ASST: Yannic Bastarache (50) (PP)|
|6:32||AMH||Alex Savoie (21) ASST: Michael McQuaid (14), Gavin Watt (27)|
|7:49||GFR||Adam Redding (7) ASST: Ethan Johnson (21), Jonathan Cormier (11)|
|13:52||AMH||Tristan Sanchez (12) ASST: Jonah Jelley (11)|
|19:06||GFR||Ben Diamond (34) ASST: Yannic Bastarache (51), Dominic LeBlanc (31) (PP)|