MIRAMICHI – Colin Parker scored with only 7 seconds remaining in the second period while netminder Gio DiMattia made a total of 29 saves, helping the Grand Falls Rapids to a 1-0 victory Saturday night in Miramichi.
The Rapids played an outstanding game defensively, blocking shots and killing five power play chances by the Timberwolves, including a 5 on 3-man advantage for over a minute in the third period. DiMattia made some key saves to preserve the shutout, his first of the season and his second as a Rapid.
The victory comes at the right time for Greg Leland’s squad who was playing its second of a three-game series this weekend. The Rapids now take back sole possession of 4th spot in the Eastlink North division standings, 1 point ahead of the Campbellton Tigers and Fredericton Red Wings. It was also a 4th victory on the road this season for Grand Falls in 7 games.
It was a tight checking game from beginning to end, even though the Timberwolves came out strong out of the gate in the opening period with a couple of good scoring chances, but DiMattia was solid.
The Rapids had their best opportunity to get on the board with under 9 minutes remaining in the opening frame when Tristan Sanchez was stopped point blank by Timberwolves’ goalkeeper Jack Flanagan.
Teams skated off the ice after twenty minutes of play even in the shots on goal department, 10-10.
The second period saw very little space to manoeuver by both teams. The only goal of the contest came at 19:53 following a shot from the point by Jules Delepoulle that was initially blocked by Flanagan. However, Colin Parker was in front to take the rebound, scoring his 4th goal of the season. Defenseman Raphael Denis also assisted on the Grand Falls’ tally.
The Timberwolves had a great opportunity to tie the score at around the 8-minute mark of the third period as they were awarded a two-man advantage. The Rapids played well defensively, keeping their opponents off the mark.
DiMattia also made a game saving save with under 8 minutes remaining on Zacharie Charest who was alone in front while Miramichi was playing shorthanded. The 20-year-old netminder made a brilliant pad save, keeping the Rapids in front.
It will be a short rest for the Rapids as thay play Sunday afternoon in Bouctouche against the West Kent Steamers. Puck drop is at 2:30 pm.
*The Rapids went 0 for 2 on the power play while Miramichi was scoreless in 5 PP opportunities.
*Game attendance: 1120
*Three stars of the game: 1- Colin Parker (GFR); 2- Gio DiMattia (GFR); 3- Raphael Denis (GFR)
19:53 GFR Colin Parker (4) ASST: Jules Delepoulle (10), Raphael Denis (3)