GRAND FALLS – Jeremy Duhamel scored two goals, including the game winner in the final frame, as the Miramichi Timberwolves defeated the Grand Falls Rapids on Friday night by a 3-2 score.
For Duhamel, it was his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season. Daryk Dubé-Plouffe, with his 22nd, completed the scoring for the visitors.
Dominic Leblanc, with his 13th of the season, and Jack Dickie (his 3rd) scored for the Rapids who have now lost their last four games on the schedule.
Miramichi has now taken fourth spot in the Eastlink North standings with a 2-point advantage over the Rapids. The Timberwolves have however played two more games than the Rapids thus far.
It was a game played with many momentum swings, as shown by the shots on goal registered by both teams during each period. The Rapids domninated the first twenty minutes of play, sending 16 shots on Timberwolves’ netminder Ryan Knight who was the dominant figure of the opening frame. Knight came up with huge saves, frustrating the Rapids’ players who got some quality shots on net.
Miramichi dominated the second period with a 22-10 advantage in shots while the Rapids came back in the last twenty minutes of play with a 17 to 6 edge.
As Ryan Knight stood his ground brilliantly, it was the Timberwolves’ explosive duo of Daryk Dubé-Plouffe and Jeremy Duhamel who took care of putting their team in the lead in the first period. On a give and go between both players, Duhamel sent a shot on the glove side of Rapids’ goalkeeper Frédéric Plourde, giving Miramichi a 1-0 advantage at the 14-minute mark.
Both Dubé-Plouffe and Duhamel were very hard to contain as they seemed to be everywhere on the ice. They both are the key to this Timberwolves’ offence that is ranked first in the league in goals scored.
The Rapids tied the score at 11:16 of the middle frame following a faceoff win in the Miramichi end. Yannic Bastarache took care of the draw, then sent a pass to Dominic Leblanc who beat goaltender Ryan Knight. But not long after that tying goal, the Timberwolves regained the lead on a great individual effort by Dubé-Plouffe who beat a couple of defenders in front of the net with some dazzling moves, before sending a shot in the top corner of the net to give his team a 2-1 lead at 12:40.
Through two periods of play, shots were 29 to 26 in favour of Miramichi.
Jeremy Duhamel, with his second goal of the contest, made it 3-1 at 4:53 of the third period while the Timberwolves were playing with the man advantage.
Then Jack Dickie scored the Rapids’ second goal at 7:49 on a perfect wrist shot from the slot, giving his team some hope.
Grand Falls did everything they could to tie the game, but the Timberwolves held on for the 3-2 win.
The Rapids will try to put an end to their 4-game skid on Sunday afternoon as they host the Truro Bearcats. Puck drop is at 3pm at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
*Jérémy Duhamel (2g 1a) and Daryk Dubé-Plouffe (1g 2a) led the way offensively for Miramichi who went 1 for 6 on the power play.
The Rapids went scoreless in 3 PP opportunities.
*The final tally in shots on goal was 43 to 35 in favour of the Rapids.
*Game attendance: 679 spectators
*Three stars of the game: 1- Jérémy Duhamel (MIR); 2- Daryk Dubé-Plouffe (MIR); 3- Yannic Bastarache (GFR)
14:49 MIR Jeremy Duhamel (22) ASST: Daryk Dube-Plouffe (33), Travis Badcock (5)
11:16 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (13) ASST: Yannic Bastarache (24)
12:40 MIR Daryk Dube-Plouffe (22) ASST: Jeremy Duhamel (19), Felix Landry (23)
4:53 MIR Jeremy Duhamel (23) ASST: Daryk Dube-Plouffe (34), Jacob Santerre (30) (PP)
7:49 GFR Jack Dickie (3) ASST: Ian Dickie (4), Marc-Antoine Belzile (6)