GRAND FALLS — The second goal of the game by defenseman Pierre-Luc Lurette, scored at 1:10 of the overtime period, gave the Campbellton Tigers a 6-5 victory Friday night in Grand Falls against the Rapids. A crowd of more than 1100 spectators was on hand at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
After manoeuvring the puck brilliantly in the Rapids end, Lurette eluded defenders to finally find himself alone in front of goaltender Nolan Boyd, scoring the game winner on a backhand shot. Lurette also scored his team’s second goal of the game on a power play early in the second period.
Trailing 4-2 after forty minutes of play, the Rapids came back to tie the score at 8:41 of the third with two unanswered goals, lifting the home crowd to their feet.
Jean-Simon Bélanger reduced the margin to 4-3 when he used his speed to find himself alone before goalie Tristan Gray whom he beat up high with a perfect wrist shot. Seconds later (at 9:26), Antoni Matte’s shot found the back of the net as the puck rolled slowly under the Tigers goaltender, tying the score. It was Matte’s first goal of the season.
Penalties were costly for the Rapids in this game, no less than the two man advantage in which the Tigers scored the go-ahead goal with less than 5 minutes remaining in regulation time. Joel Walker, with his second tally of the game, gave the visitors the lead, but not for long.
After pulling their goalie in favour of a sixth attacker, the Rapids tied the score when Mackenzie Mindus’ shot found the back of the with a very tight angle to shoot at.
The overtime frame only lasted for 1:10 after the Tigers took control of the puck in the neutral zone. Just seconds before Lurette’s winning goal, the Rapids did penetrate in the Tigers end but they weren’t able to register a shot on goal.
Note that the score was tied 1-1 after twenty minutes of play with goals coming from Charles-William Gagné (Tigers) and Chris Melendez (Rapids). Melendez’ 3rd goal of the campaign was registered on a one-timer at 16:57 of the opening frame.
Campbellton dominated the second period, scoring three times. Pierre-Luc Lurette cashed in on a power play at 3:35 before Conor MacLean tied the score again for Grand Falls on a 5 on 3 man advantage.
At 10:19, Coleton Perry took possession of a loose puck and promptly directed it passed Boyd for the Tigers’ third goal. Joel Walker then doubled the lead after he scored on a breakaway while his team was playing shorthanded. That helped the Tigers retreat to their dressing room with a 4-2 lead after two periods.
Pierre-Luc Lurette (2g 1a) and Joel Walker (2g) both led the Tigers offensively while Jean-Simon Bélanger (1g 2a) and defenseman Matthew MacKay (3a) both picked up 3 points for the home team.
Shots on goal were 38-31 for the Tigers. Campbellton went 2 for 7 on the power play as the Rapids were 1 for 5.
This game represented something special for Grand Falls native Drew Toner who wears number 16 for the Tigers. In fact, he was returning to his home town before friends and family.
“It’s an experience that I will never forget”, mentions Toner who has 3 points to his credit in 9 games this season.
“It was a different feeling for me compared to all the other games I played before. I had butterflies in my stomach knowing that lots of people from this town came out to cheer me”.
Toner mentioned that he was very proud of his team’s performance thus far as the Tigers have a 5-4 won/lost record for a total of 10 points this season.
As for the Rapids, despite the loss, they picked up a big point in the standings. They now have a 4-4-1 record for 9 points in the East Link South division standings.
The Rapids will play their next game on Saturday the 20th of October as they will travel to Miramichi to play the Timberwolves. They will be back on home ice the following day (Sunday the 21st) when they will be hosting the Summerside Western Capitals at 3pm at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
Source: Patrick Thibault (Grand Falls Rapids)
CAM- Charles -William Gagné (1) (Maxime Charest; Mitch Britton) 12:56
GFR- Chris Melendez (3) (Jean-Simon Bélanger; Matthew Mackay) 16:57
CAM- Pierre-Luc Lurette (3) (Pier-Olivier Michaud; Tom Callaghan) 3:35 (PP)
GFR- Conor MacLean (4) (Jean-Simon Bélanger; Matthew Mackay) 5:17 (PP)
CAM- Coleton Perry (6) (Pascal Valcourt; Dylan Coffey) 10:19
CAM- Joel Walker (4) (sans aide) 12:34 (SH)
GFR- Jean-Simon Bélanger (5) (Mackenzie Mindus) 8:41
GFR- Antoni Matte (1) (Matthew Mackay; Dawson Wood) 9:26
CAM- Joel Walker (5) (Pierre-Luc Lurette; Jared Janke) 15:46 (an)
GFR- Mackenzie Mindus (3) (Dawson Wood; Chris Melendez) 18:50
CAM- Pierre-Luc Lurette (4) (Maxime Charest; Charles-William Gagné) 1:07