GRAND FALLS – The Rapids put an end to a 6-game winless streak, defeating the Fredericton Red Wings by a score of 4-1 Tuesday night at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
The victory puts Grand Falls within 3 points of Fredericton for 5th spot in the Eastlink North division standings. Both teams now have 7 games remaining on the schedule.
Goaltender Frédéric Plourde had a strong outing between the pipes, making 40 saves, including 17 in the final frame. Plourde also picked up his 11th win of the season.
Almost all of the scoring occurred in the first period. Manix Sarrasin got the Red Wings on the board at 7:25 on a rebound in front of the Rapids’ crease.
Grand Falls answered back with two goals before the end of the frame. After collecting multiple rebounds in front of Red Wings’ netminder Sebastian Lever, the Rapids finally put the puck into the back of the net, courtesy of Kobe Burt who registered his 3rd goal of the season at 10:26. Then at 14:56, Cole MacWilliam took advantage of a miscue by Lever who mishandled the puck behind his own net. MacWilliam pounced on the loose puck, scoring his 6th goal of the campaign.
The Rapids held an 11-8 advantage in shots on goal through twenty minutes of play.
No goals were scored in the second period despite a total of 30 shots favouring Fredericton 16-14. Both netminders were solid for their respective teams. The Rapids did loose the services of a defenseman during the middle frame as Will Morrison was ejected from the game following a fighting major penalty at the 2-minute mark.
The Rapids added to their lead early in the third period on Dominic LeBlanc’s 24th tally of the season. Leblanc was sent in all alone following a pass from linemate Yannic Bastarache who notched his 38th assist of the season.
The Red Wings took control of the game afterwards, dominating play at the opposing end. They could not however take advantage of two power play opportunities as Frédéric Plourde stood his ground brilliantly, making some key saves.
Fredericton led 17 to 10 in shots on goal in the third period.
Josh Russell added the Rapids’ fourth goal in an empty net at 18:37.
The Rapids will return to action on Friday night as they host the Miramichi Timberwolves for a 7:30 pm contest at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
*No players finished the game with 2 points or more to their credit.
Both teams were also shutout on the power play as Fredericton went 0 for 4 and Grand Falls 0 for 2.
*Game attendance: 584 spectators
*Three stars of the game: 1- Frédéric Plourde (GFR); 2- Kobe Burt (GFR); 3- Ethan Johnson (GFR)
7:25 FRW Manix Sarrasin (18) ASST: Logan Carruthers (8)
10:26 GFR Kobe Burt (3) ASST: Bryce Thomson (7)
14:56 GFR Cole MacWilliam (6) ASST: None
0:46 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (24) ASST: Yannic Bastarache (38), Ethan Johnson (18)
18:37 GFR Josh Russell (7) ASST: Adam Redding (2), Ben Diamond (28) (EN)