MIRAMICHI – Three unanswered goals in the third period helped the Grand Falls Rapids break a 4-4 tie as they skated away with a 7-4 victory Saturday night in Miramichi.
It was win number 20 on the season for the Rapids, the most victories they have registered since their arrival in Grand Falls.
It was a productive night for the top line. Ben Diamond scored three times, including his 30th of the campaign in the opening period. Yannic Bastarache and Dominic LeBlanc both took part in 5 of the team’s 7 goals with identical performances of 1g and 4a.
The Rapids were also very efficient on the power play, scoring three times with the man advantage.
With Grand Falls ahead 4-3 entering the third period, the Timberwolves tied the score early in the frame on a goal from Jack O’Blenis.
However, the Rapids responded with two quick goals with less than 7 minutes remaining in regulation time.
After Evan Bellamy’s shot from the point was blocked, Josh Russell pounced on the rebound to put the Rapids ahead 5-4. Then seconds later, Dominic LeBlanc scored from the side of the cage following a rebound, tallying his 29th goal of the season and giving his team a 6-4 lead.
Ben Diamond got the hat trick with an empty net goal at 18:45 to give the Rapids their third victory this season against Miramichi.
A total of five goals were scored in the opening period, including a pair from Diamond. Evan Bellamy, on a power play, was the other goal scorer for the Rapids as he registered his 7th of the season on a slap shot from the point.
Will Allen and Sam McKinney responded for the Timberwolves.
The teams shared a goal apiece in the middle frame. Yannic Bastarache had given Grand Falls a 4-2 lead at 6:37 on a power play. Cole Young, with his first of the season, replied for Miramichi at 12:32.
It was a game marred by many penalties, most of them coming on the Timberwolves’ side as the Rapids were penalized for only 10 minutes in the contest compared to 26 minutes for Miramichi.
Each team sent 43 shots on the opposing net during the game. Frédéric Plourde, who had another strong performance between the pipes, picked up win number 12 of the season. Jack Flanagan was in goal for Miramichi.
The Rapids have one more game left to their regular season schedule as they host Monday night the Amherst Ramblers. Game time is 7:30 pm at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
*Three players stood out for the Rapids offensively on Saturday night: Ben Diamond (3g), Yannic Bastarache (1g 4a) and Dominic LeBlanc (1g 4a). Defenseman Evan Bellamy also contributed with 1g and 2a.
For the Timberwolves, no player had more than 1 point to their credit.
*The Rapids scored 3 power play goals in the game, bringing their total to 54 PP goals this season.
*Game attendance: 1168 spectators
*Three stars of the game: Dominic LeBlanc (GFR); Yannic Bastarache (GFR); Ben Diamond (GFR)
1:46 GFR Ben Diamond (30) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (26), Yannic Bastarache (45) (PP)
11:31 MIR Will Allen (7) ASST: Liam Travis (11)
15:05 MIR Sam McKinney (15) ASST: Daryk Dube-Plouffe (61), Jacob Santerre (52)
15:34 GFR Evan Bellamy (7) ASST: Yannic Bastarache (46), Dominic LeBlanc (27) (PP)
16:07 GFR Ben Diamond (31) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (28), Yannic Bastarache (47)
6:37 GFR Yannic Bastarache (27) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (29) (PP)
12:32 MIR Cole Young (1) ASST: William Schofield (22), Reese Allen (7)
1:32 MIR Jack O’Blenis (2) ASST: Felix Landry (38), Kaden McNeil (8)
13:45 GFR Josh Russell (11) ASST: Evan Bellamy (29), Adam Redding (7)
14:26 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (29) ASST: Yannic Bastarache (48), Evan Bellamy (30)
18:45 GFR Ben Diamond (32) ASST: None (EN)