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

Effort and intensity are always what a team should aim for each and every game. No matter how strong the opponent or the circumstances involved, there is a sense of pride and a certain amount of satisfaction knowing that you gave all of your best.

This applies really well to the Rapids as of late. Knowing that they might not have all the elements to succeed against the stronger teams in the league, there is no quit and no inferiority complex. However, I avoided mentioning that hard work is often ‘an immediate reward’, because for the Rapids this past weekend, that just wasn’t the case.

Leading 3-0 and 4-2 on Sunday afternoon against the Miramichi Timberwolves, the Rapids saw their opponents score three unanswered goals in the final twenty minutes of play to capture the win. No points were added to the standings for the Rapids, despite dominating for most of the game. The third period was tough for Grand Falls as they sent only 4 shots on goal while letting the explosive duo of Jeremy Duhamel and Justin David do their thing as they both guided their team’s comeback.

On Friday night against a talented Edmundston Blizzard team, the Rapids held their ground despite being down by three goals after two periods of play. Contrary to the game against the Timberwolves, the Rapids came out strong in the final period, scoring two quick goals to cut Edmundston’s lead to a single goal. The Blizzard did however add a couple more tallies to assure themselves the win.

It is hard, both for the coaching staff and the players alike, to skate away from those two games without being rewarded with at least 1 point in the standings. There is a feeling of disappointment and of course, a feeling that all the work put in was a failure.

There is a way to look at it though from a positive point of view: winning and success takes time, and it comes from mistakes and sometimes hard losses. Learning to win means knowing how to hold on to third period leads. It also means to know when not to give the other team some momentum when they are down. And it also means to be responsible and getting back to the drawing board.

Getting to keep the players that have to go through this learning process is key as they will eventually know how to handle themselves to be successful and show the way for the next core of players coming up in the system. That’s what we call creating a ‘winning culture’ as mentioned last weekend by coach Greg Leland. That’s the way it all starts… as long as patience, perseverance and hard work are always present.

Patrick Thibault


*After 36 games, the Rapids have a record of 9 victories, 24 losses and 3 shootout defeats for a total of 21 points.

They remain 4pts back of the Campbellton Tigers for 5th spot in the Eastlink North division standings and 13pts back of a playoff spot.

*The Rapids have reached the 100-goal plateau this season as they now total 102 goals.

Their power play efficiency is now at 17.8%, up from 16.9% which was registered last week.

*Following are the team leaders among different statistical departments:

-points: Jérémy Boulanger (36)

-goals: Jérémy Boulanger (11)

-assists: Jérémy Boulanger (25)

-power play goals: Jérémy Boulanger, Ethan Johnson, Jonah Leard (3)

-power play points: Ethan Johnson (15)

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

-winning goals: Zacharie Charest (3)

-goals against average: Adam Lecours (3.55)


*The West Kent Steamers remain in first place in the Eastlink North division standings, but they have only a 1-point lead over the Edmundston Blizzard. The Steamers have 56 points to their credit, while the Blizzard have 55 points with one game in hand on West Kent.

Following in order in the standings in the Eastlink North are: Miramichi (45pts), Fredericton (34pts), Campbellton (25pts), Rapids (21pts).

In the Eastlink South division, the Summerside Western Capitals still lead the way with 59 points. There is a three-way tie for second place between Pictou County, Amherst and Yarmouth… all three teams have 40 points.

*Carter McCluskey of the Fredericton Red Wings leads the league in scoring with a record of 35 goals and 35 assists for 70 points. He is followed by Félix Bédard of Edmundston (29g 39a 68pts) and Alex Nadeau of Truro (25g 39a 64pts).

Nicholas Sheehan of the Edmundston Blizzard remains the leader among goaltenders with the best goals-against average with 2.24.


*Friday January 26: Rapids vs Edmundston (7:30 pm)

*Sunday January 28: Rapids vs Campbellton (4:00 pm)