BERWICK (Nova Scotia) – Yannic Bastarache scored just 7 seconds into overtime on Friday night, giving the Grand Falls Rapids a come from behind 4-3 victory on the road against the Valley Wildcats.

After the initial face-off at center ice, Bastarache broke into an odd man rush with linemate Kyle Foreman, sending a perfect shot to the stick side of Valley netminder Antoine Lyonnais for the game winner.

Trailing 3-0 mid-way into the contest, the Rapids had tied the score at 3:04 of the third period on Adam Fowlow’s first goal of the season.

Goaltender Gio DiMattia was solid between the pipes for the Rapids as he came up with some huge saves in the final frame. But his best work might have come in the first period when the Wildcats fired a total of 18 shots on goal, scoring only once late in the frame.

Rapids’ head coach Nick Tremere was proud of his team’s comeback on Friday but acknowledges that work still has to be done.

“It wasn’t our prettiest game, but the guys stuck with it and found a way to get the job done”, mentions Tremere.

“As always, we will review the game, make corrections and learn from it but I was proud that the guys didn’t let excuses be the story. They kept focused on the task of getting two points tonight and we were able to accomplish that”.

The Rapids delivered a good forechecking performance in the opening period despite being outshot 18-7 by their opponents.

Bryce Thompson had the best opportunity to get Grand Falls on the board with less than 3 minutes remaining after he came in close on netminder Lyonnais who made the save.

As mentioned, Gio DiMattia was solid between the pipes, but he couldn’t stop Felix Laniel from giving Valley the lead with only 3 seconds remaining in the frame. After receiving a pass in front of the net, Laniel beat DiMattia on a one-timer for his 3rd tally of the season.

Valley jumped to a three-goal lead in the first 7 minutes of play in the second period. Luke Wilson’s shorthanded goal brought the score to 2-0 at 3:32 while Jason Kwestel made it 3-0 on a two-on-one break at 7:28.

The Rapids had a much better period around the opposing net, getting good scoring chances and dominating in shots on goal, 16 to 7. After going scoreless in four power play opportunities, Grand Falls finally cashed in with the man advantage at 9:45 of the period on Joachim Matulu’s wrist shot. It was Matulu’s second PP goal of the season.

Then with only 12 seconds remaining in the period, Spencer Desveaux went on a breakaway, beating the sprawling Lyonnais to cut Valley’s lead to 3-2 after two periods of play.

Grand Falls scored the only goal of the third period at the 3-minute mark on a two-on-one break, just seconds after killing a minor penalty. Adam Fowlow beat Lyonnais stick side and the Rapids got things even at 3-3.

DiMattia kept his team even with some great saves, forcing the game inito overtime. Then with only 7 seconds after puck drop, Yannic Bastarache scored the game winner, his first as a Rapid, as his team completed the comeback.

Final shots on goal were 36 to 34 in favour of the Valley Wildcats.

The Rapids pick up their second win in a row and will try to make it two out of two on the road on Saturday night as they travel to Amherst for a 7pm matchup with the Ramblers.

Patrick Thibault


*No Rapids’ players registered more than 1 point on Friday night.

For the Wildcats, Luke Wilson led the way offensively with 1 goal and 2 assists.

*The Rapids were 1 for 6 on the power play while Valley finished the game with no goals on 4 PP opportunities.

*Three stars of the game: 1- Luke Wilson (VAL); 2- Joachim Matulu (GFR); 3- Josh Crooks (VAL)

*Game attendance: 220 spectators


19:57 VAL Félix Laniel (3) ASST: Julian Vandervoet (2), Luke Wilson (4)  
3:32 VAL Luke Wilson (1) ASST: Josh Crooks (1), Keigan Casey (1) (SH)  
7:28 VAL Jason Kwestel (1) ASST: Luke Wilson (5), Brant King (3)  
9:45 GFR Joachim Matalu (2) ASST: Keegan Hunt (1) (PP)  
19:48 GFR Spencer Desveaux (1) ASST: None  
3:04 GFR Adam Fowlow (1) ASST: Dominic Leblanc (3), Zac Arsenault (4)  
1st OT      
0:07 GFR Yannic Bastarache (1) ASST: Kyle Foreman (2)