ST.STEPHEN – The Grand Falls Rapids were the most opportunistic team on Saturday night at the Garcelon Civic Centre in St.Stephen. They scored four unanswered goals, including two in the opening period, as they cruised to a 5-2 victory against the Aces, bringing their record to two wins and only one loss to begin the 2018-2019 MHL season.
Five different players scored for Grand Falls as they will return on home ice Sunday afternoon to face the Aces once again.
The Rapids took advantage of a lack of discipline from their opponents as they opened the scoring early in the game on a power play. Mackenzie Mindus, with his 2nd goal of the season, gave the visitors the lead when he deflected the puck passed goaltender Joey May of the Aces after receiving a perfect pass from defenseman Brendan Bornstein at the 3 minute mark of the opening period.
Then with less than 5 minutes remaining in the frame, Dawson Wood doubled the lead on a two on one break, putting the puck passed May. It was Wood’s first tally of the season, giving the Rapids a 2-0 edge after twenty minutes of play. Shots on goal in the period were 15-12 in favor of Grand Falls.
The Rapids started the second period with lots of energy, scoring a third goal in the early stages. Jean-Simon Bélanger tallied his second of the season with only 35 ticks on the clock.
Grand Falls added a fourth consecutive goal at the 4 minute mark, thanks to Matthew MacNeil’s wrist shot that found the back of the net with lots of traffic in front of the Aces goaltender.
However, it didn’t turn out too well for the Rapids for the rest of the period as they saw their opponents control the pace of play, resulting in two unanswered goals by the Aces.
Ryan MacDonald put the home team on the board at 5:01 after deflecting the puck passed goalie Nolan Boyd, and with less than two minutes remaining in the frame, Everett Hicks reduced the margin to two goals.
Boyd was solid in net at the end of the period, stopping a breakaway with less than a minute remaining. The score was 4-2 in favor of the Rapids after two periods of play.
The third period was a more tight checking affair, as indicated by the shots on goal (6-5) in favor of the Aces.
Only one goal was scored in the final frame: Broderick Black scored his first as a Rapids, beating goalie Joey May with a perfect backhand shot with less than 4 minutes remaining.
Sandy MacCarthy’s team controlled the puck in the third, preventing scoring opportunities for the Aces.
The Rapids shot 30 times on goal in the game compared to 27 for St.Stephen.
Jean-Simon Bélanger (first star of the game) had a strong night offensively, scoring a goal and picking up two assists. Brendan Bornstein (second star of the game) also finished the contest with two assists.
Goaltender Nolan Boyd won his first start in net for the Rapids in the regular season schedule.
The two teams will meet at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop will be at 3pm.
Source: Patrick Thibault (Grand Falls Rapids)
GAME SUMMARY :
1st period :
GFR- Mackenzie Mindus (2) (Brendan Bornstein; Jean-Simon Bélanger) 3 :00 (pp)
GFR- Dawson Wood (1) (unassisted) 16:55
GFR- Jean-Simon Bélanger (2) (unassisted) 0:35
GFR- Matthew MacNeil (2) (Jean-Simon Bélanger; Brendan Bornstein) 4:01
SSA- Ryan MacDonald (3) (Noah Holm; Nick French) 5:01
SSA- Everett Hicks (2) (Leighton Holstein) 18:24
GFR- Broderick Black (1) (Nick Hodd; Antoni Matte) 16:21
LES RAPIDES L’EMPORTENT SUR LA ROUTE ALORS QU’ILS ONT RAISON DE ST.STEPHEN 5-2