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


There is some good news and some bad news about the Rapids… the good news is that the team has been playing probably its best hockey of the season lately, having won 5 of their last 7 games on the schedule.

The bad news is however: we won’t have much time to see them in action as there are only 6 games remaining on the schedule; despite their hot streak, a push for a playoff run might be too late.

Whatever happens in the next few weeks isn’t much complicated… the team needs to play the rest of the schedule on a high note, as they are currently doing so brilliantly, and forget about what the teams above them in the standings are doing. ‘Control your own destiny’ as we might say, and if they do so, a 5th place finish is very attainable.

Fans might ask this question: Why didn’t this team play the same way in the first half of the season? And understandably so, it is a good point because maybe we would be talking about the playoffs right now. But things can change a lot during the course of a season, especially in the MHL where player movements occur very often depending on numerous circumstances.

We must admit that since the end of the trade deadline, the Rapids have been playing very well despite losing some key elements to their lineup. Even though results weren’t showing at first, there was a sense that things were changing for the best. The team’s attitude, discipline and commitment picked up a notch and chemistry was building to a point where all the players accepted their roles and responsibilities.

Of course, results do take time when there is a process behind all the hard work. That process involves patience and perseverance to the preparation that needs to be accomplished in practices. But it also involves passion in what these players do. If they are proud to be a part of the team and are committed to turning things in the right direction and do believe in their teammates and enjoy their company, chances are that improvement will come.

This is exactly what we are seeing from this team lately. It is apparent that they do play with the desire to show everyone that it’s not necessarily the most gifted players that can bring success to a team, but the ones that work the hardest and commit to the game plan and system. The coaching staff is currently bringing out the best from all of its players, no matter the talent level, and having them play as a team. Great things can be accomplished when you can get there. Too bad however that the season cannot be prolonged any further.

The Rapids’ four-game winning streak came to an end on Monday afternoon, but it still was a winning weekend where they came out with two victories. And to show what improvement and confidence can bring, Greg Leland’s squad was able to defeat the Blizzard for the first time this season while winning for a second consecutive week against the Tigers in Campbellton.

The Rapids will be in Miramichi on Saturday before coming back at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre to clash with the West Kent Steamers on Sunday afternoon.

There are still 4 home games left on the schedule… this is a great opportunity for the fans to show their appreciation towards a team that is very fun to watch lately.

Patrick Thibault


*The Rapids’ record now stands at 14 wins, 29 losses and 3 shootout defeats for a total of 31 points. They are currently 1-point back of the Campbellton Tigers for 5th spot in the division with both teams having 6 games remaining on their regular season schedule.

*Grand Falls has allowed 188 goals this season, but this statistic has improved since the past few weeks. The Fredericton Red Wings, who are 4th in the North division, have allowed only 3 fewer goals than the Rapids thus far (185). Campbellton has allowed the most with 205.

*Their power play efficiency has slightly gone up to 18.8% this week and their penalty kill at 74.3%, which is also an improvement from last week.

*Following are the team leaders among different statistical departments:

-points: Jérémy Boulanger (45)

-goals: Jérémy Boulanger (14)

-assists: Jérémy Boulanger (31)

-power play goals: Jonah Leard and Jérémy Boulanger (4)

-power play points: Ethan Johnson (20)

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

-winning goals: Zacharie Charest (3)

-goals against average: Adam Lecours (3.45)


*The Edmundston Blizzard still hold a 3-point lead atop the Eastlink North division standings with 65 points in 44 games played. West Kent follows with 62 points in 45 games.

Following in order in the standings are: Miramichi (57pts), Fredericton (43pts), Campbellton (32pts) and the Rapids (31pts).

In the Eastlink South division, the Summerside Western Capitals still lead with 71 points.

Truro and Yarmouth are tied for second spot with 53pts, followed by Amherst (51pts), Pictou County (49pts) and Valley (19pts).

*Carter McCluskey of the Fredericton Red Wings leads the league in scoring with a record of 41 goals and 48 assists for 89 points. He is followed by Félix Bédard of Edmundston (35g 48a 83pts).

Nicholas Sheehan of the Edmundston Blizzard remains the leader among goaltenders with the best goals-against average with 2.37.


*Saturday February 24: Rapids vs Miramichi (7:00 pm)

*Sunday February 25: West Kent vs Rapids (3:00 pm)