RAPIDS’ WEEKLY REPORT – October 12
The Rapids finished their two-game trip to Nova Scotia with a respectable 1 win and 1 loss record, which brings their season total to 2 wins and 2 losses for 4 points in the standings.
It took a great comeback on Friday night for Nick Tremere’s squad to pull off the victory in overtime thanks to Yannic Bastarache’s first goal of the season with only 7 seconds gone off the clock. The Rapids tied the score early in the third period, erasing a 3-goal deficit which seemed almost insurmountable at a certain point.
Gio DiMattia was solid between the pipes, making a total of 33 saves, including 18 in the opening frame. The Rapids had their game and their legs going in the second period, sending 16 shots on goal and scoring twice.
Then on Saturday night in Amherst in a hard-fought battle from beginning to end, the Rapids dropped a close 2-1 decision to the Ramblers. After defenseman Zac Arsenault gave the visitors the lead at the mid way point of the first period, the Ramblers shut the door, allowing only 13 shots to their opponents in the second and third periods combined. The Rapids spent some valuable time in the penalty box (34 in total) in comparaison to 10 penalty minutes for Amherst.
Both contests were very physical and despite the number of minor penalties which were assessed, the Rapids allowed no goals to their opponents with the man advantage. As a matter of fact, they were able to hold both Valley and Amherst scoreless in 11 power play opportunities in total. However, Grand Falls scored only once in 11 tries on the power play, which came on Friday night on Joachim Matulu’s second PP tally of the season.
The team played very well defensively, and the progression is apparent since the season opener when Grand Falls allowed 8 goals to Summerside. Scoring opportunities are also present, but the Rapids had to face some very good goaltending last weekend with ex-Blizzard Antoine Lyonnais (VAL) and Mitchell Dudar (AMH).
On the flip side, the Rapids got some great goaltending from Gio DiMattia and Nolan Boyd who kept their team in the game at key moments. They both made a huge difference to the fact that the team only allowed 4 goals in two games.
The Rapids lead the league in power play opportunities (25) and are second in the penalty kill department at 90.5%.
There is however one statistic that sticks out the most in a bad way for the Rapids: 116 penalty minutes which leads the league. Summerside comes in second in that department with 85 penalty minutes. Spending less time in the box would most certainly put less pressure on the defensive corps and the netminders while helping create more scoring opportunities in the most opportune times of the game.
The Rapids return on home ice for two games next weekend against the unbeaten Truro Bearcats and the Fredericton Red Wings.
*The Rapids are tied with Edmundston and Fredericton for third place in the Eastlink North standings with 4 points. The Campbellton Tigers lead the way with 6 points while the Summerside Western Capitals sit in second position with 5 points. Miramichi is last in the division with a record of 1 win and 3 losses for 2 points.
*By adding 2 points to his total over the weekend, Dominic Leblanc sits atop the league scoring leaders with 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points. Jacob Santerre of Miramichi is second (5g 2a 7pts) while Tristan Fortin of Edmundston and Marc Richard of Summerside are tied for third with identical 5g 1a records.
Second on the Rapids’ scoring list is defenseman Zac Arsenault (2g 4a 6pts), followed by Tommy Bouchard (3g 2a 5pts) and Kyle Foreman (1g 2a 3pts).
*Gio DiMattia has 2 wins to his credit between the pipes and a 3.50 goals against average in two starts.
Nolan Boyd has also had two starts in goal, registering a 5.00 average.
RAPIDS’ NEXT GAMES:
Saturday 7:30pm: Rapids at Edmundston Blizzard
Sunday 3pm: Fredericton Red Wings at Rapids