Photo (c) 2024 Bryan Cote Photography www.bryancote.com


What a difference a week makes when victory comes not only once… but twice during the same weekend. And deservingly so in the case of the Rapids!

As mentioned last week, it was kind of frustrating all the hard work and commitment that was invested on the ice with nothing to show for. But finally, the team was rewarded with two great one-goal wins, both against divisional rivals.


Head coach Greg Leland echoes those thoughts and is very satisfied with his team’s efforts:


“We have been winning lately because of our grit and determination, along with very strong goaltending. We have had a strong work ethic for most of the year, and for a while the guys were not being rewarded with wins”, mentions Leland.

“Lately that has changed and, as a coach, it’s very satisfying to see them reap the benefits and experience some wins”.


It was indeed a tremendous defensive effort as the Rapids allowed only 4 goals in total. Goaltending was tremendous once again, but defenders also helped the cause by blocking numerous shots and by playing a responsible and discipline type of play in their own zone.

The team took advantage of their opponents’ miscues to score some key goals and never showed any panic when then game was on the line at the very end.

We have to wonder if both the Fredericton Red Wings and the Campbellton Tigers might have taken their rivals too lightly, but we have to admit that the Rapids were the better team on the ice on both occasions.


Friday night against the Red Wings on home ice, the Rapids took a 2-goal lead with two quick tallies late in the first period. Jeremy Boulanger, who was making a comeback to the lineup after suffering an injury a couple weeks ago, scored his 13th goal of the season. Ethan Johnson completed the scoring.

Adam Lecours made a total of 27 saves, including some key stops to preserve the victory for the Rapids which happened to be their 4th this season against the Red Wings.


Then on Sunday afternoon in Campbellton, all signs pointed to a shootout as five goals were scored in the opening period. The Rapids took a 3-2 lead after twenty minutes of play and never let the Tigers tie the score. It was a valiant effort, completing a 4-point weekend which now brings the Rapids’ record to 12 wins on the season, 28 losses and 3 extra time defeats for a total of 27 points.


Even though there is still work to be done to get back into playoff contention, those two victories are most certainly good for moral and the confidence of the players, but also a great boost for the 9 remaining games on the regular season schedule.


The Rapids will be in action on three occasions next weekend, including a rare Monday afternoon matchup against the Truro Bearcats on Family Day at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.


Patrick Thibault



*The Rapids have won three of their last four games on the schedule, scoring a total of 10 goals, but also allowing only 9 to their opponents for an average of less than 3g per game.


*Their power play efficiency is now at 18.3% and their penalty kill at 73.9%. Special teams have not been the team’s strength this season, but they are performing better lately on those particular aspects of the game.


*The Rapids have only been assessed a total of 12 penalty minutes during the last two games. Their season total is now at 606 min., which represents the third-least penalized team in the league.


*Following are the team leaders among different statistical departments:


-points: Jérémy Boulanger (42)

-goals: Jérémy Boulanger (13)

-assists: Jérémy Boulanger (29)

-power play goals: Jonah Leard (4)

-power play points: Ethan Johnson (18)

-shorthanded goals: Zacharie Charest and Tristan Sanchez (1)

-winning goals: Zacharie Charest (3)

-goals against average: Adam Lecours (3.48)



*The Edmundston Blizzard currently hold a 3-point lead atop the Eastlink North division standings with 63 points in 42 games played. West Kent follows with 60 points in 42 games.

Following in order in the standings are: Miramichi (53pts), Fredericton (39pts), Campbellton (32pts) and the Rapids (27pts).


In the Eastlink South division, the Summerside Western Capitals still lead with 66 points.
Truro is second with 50pts, followed by Amherst (49pts), Pictou County (46pts), Yarmouth (45pts) and Valley (16pts).


*Carter McCluskey of the Fredericton Red Wings leads the league in scoring with a record of 39 goals and 43 assists for 82 points. He is followed by Félix Bédard of Edmundston (34g 46a 80pts).


Nicholas Sheehan of the Edmundston Blizzard remains the leader among goaltenders with the best goals-against average with 2.36.



*Friday February 16: Edmundston vs Rapids (7:00 pm)
*Sunday February 18: Rapids vs Campbellton (3:00 pm)
*Monday February 19: Truro vs Rapids (3:00 pm)