GRAND FALLS – Sunday night on home ice, the Rapids gave the Summerside Western Capitals all they could handle but came up short by a 3-2 score.
Ahead 2-1 in the third period, the Rapids could not hold off their opponents who came back with two unanswered goals, including Landon Clow’s game winner with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation time.
After going scoreless for the first two periods of play, Grand Falls came alive in the third with two early power play goals.
Special teams was a critical part of this game as both teams scored twice with the man advantage. Summerside was the only team to find the back of the net at equal strength, which came on the winning tally in the final frame.
The Western Capitals jumped to a 1-0 lead at 3:56 of the first period when the Rapids were penalized for a 5-minute major infraction. Isaac Wilson scored for the visitors on a two-on-one break, sending a wrist shot to the far side of the net.
That would be the only goal scored for the first forty minutes of play, even though the Rapids did get their chances, going 0 for 3 on the power play while outshooting the Western Capitals 26-17 after two periods of play.
Yannic Bastarache got things started for the Rapids in the third, scoring his 22nd goal of the season while his team was playing with the man advantage. After a flurry of shots were sent on Summerside netminder Brandon Abbott, it was finally Bastarache who found the back of the net from the point, tying the game at 1-1.
Then at 4:24, also on a power play, Ben Diamond took a rebound off the boards and gave the Rapids a 2-1 lead. It was Diamond’s 17th goal of the season.
The Western Capitals tied the score at 7:35 on Sasha Charbonneau’s power play tally, a one-timer that beat goaltender Frédéric Plourde top shelf.
It was a turnover from behind the net which resulted in Summerside’s winning goal. Landon Clow received a pass in front of the net and didn’t waste any time, giving his team the lead for good at 10:41 of the third.
Final shots were 38 to 26 for the Rapids who have now lost two games in a row. They are now 6 points back of the Miramichi Timberwolves for fourth spot in the Eastlink North division standings with two games in hand. Both teams will square off on Wednesday night (7:30) at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
*The Rapids went 2 for 5 on the power play on Sunday night while Summerside converted successfully both of their power play opportunities, going 2 for 2.
*Ben Diamond (1g 1a) was the only player on both sides to pick up two points in the contest.
*The Rapids had two affiliated players in their lineup on Sunday night: defenseman Alexandre Michaud of the PTA high school team and forward Matthew McHatten who plays for the Western Valley Panthers of the NBJHL.
*Game attendance: 673 spectators
*Three stars of the game: 1- Brandon Abbott (SWC); 2- Ethan Johnson (GFR); 3- Cole MacWilliam (GFR)
3:56 SWC Isaac Wilson (9) ASST: Sid McNeill (26) (PP)
1:16 GFR Yannic Bastarache (22) ASST: Ethan Johnson (5), Ben Diamond (22) (PP)
4:24 GFR Ben Diamond (17) ASST: Ethan Johnson (6), Evan Bellamy (22) (PP)
7:35 SWC Sasha Charbonneau (9) ASST: Marc Richard (20), William Irvine (15) (PP)
10:41 SWC Landon Clow (5) ASST: DonHeaven Veilleux (8)