BOUCTOUCHE – The West Kent Steamers scored two unanswered goals in the second period, breaking a 2-2 tie as they defeated the Grand Falls Rapids by a score of 4-2 Sunday afternoon at the J.K. Irving Centre in Bouctouche.
It was victory no. 11 on the season for the Steamers as they now take sole possession of first place in the Eastlink North division standings with 24 points.
For the Rapids, the loss brings them back to 1 game under the .500 mark as they remain at 14 points, which is 1 point less than the Campbellton Tigers who now hold 4th spot in the division.
The Rapids were playing their third game in three days, but still gave a valiant effort in the opening period of play as they scored twice while sending 15 shots on goal. However, West Kent had the edge from that point, dominating 19 to 9 in shots while spending some quality time in Rapids’ territory.
Xavier Fisk got the win between the pipes while Adam Lecours had a strong game for the Rapids despite the loss, making 31 saves.
Brandon Clarke got the Steamers on the board at 5:07 of the opening frame after taking control of a rebound in front of the Rapids’ crease.
Grand Falls answered back quickly when Kirill Mashchenko’s shot from the point went through heavy traffic in front of the Steamers’ net. It was Mashchenko’s first goal of the season, scored only 22 seconds after West Kent’s goal.
Dominic LeBlanc gave the Rapids a 2-1 lead at 13:39 while his team was playing with a two-man advantage. It was once again a one-timer from the slot, which gives him a total of 15 goals this season and a league-leading 7 power play goals.
However, before the end of the period, the Steamers tied the score on Samuel Masse’s 4th of the season, scored on a rebound in front of the net. Alexis Daniel and Olivier Beaudoin assisted on the power play tally.
The Steamers dominated the second period in puck possession and chances to score. They broke the tie at 9:17 when Bennett Kuhnlein deflected a shot from the point.
Then at 12:12, Damon Englehutt added West Kent’s fourth goal, his second of the season.
No goals were scored in the third period as the Steamers played a strong defensive game to preserve their two-goal lead.
The final tally in shots on goal was 35 to 24 in favour of West Kent.
Both teams will meet again next Sunday in Bouctouche. It will be the Rapids’ lone game on the schedule next weekend, their 16th of the season.
*Samuel Massé and Brandon Clarke both finished the game with 1g and 1a while Alexis Daniel also collected 2 points to his credit with 2a.
Ethan Johnson assisted on both Rapids’ goals which gives him 16 points on the season (3g 13a).
*Each team scored once on the power play, both coming in the opening period.
*Game attendance: 731
*Three stars of the game: 1- Brandon Clarke (WKS); 2- Keegan Hunt (WKS); 3- Alexis Daniel (WKS)
5:07 WKS Brandon Clarke (3) ASST: Adam Pinksen (3)
5:29 GFR Kirill Mashchenko (1) ASST: Jeremy Boulanger (13), Ethan Johnson (12)
13:39 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (15) ASST: Jules Delepoulle (11), Ethan Johnson (13) (PP)
18:25 WKS Samuel Massé (4) ASST: Alexis Daniel (12), Olivier Beaudoin (12) (PP)
9:17 WKS Bennett Kuhnlein (6) ASST: Keegan Hunt (1), Brandon Clarke (1)
12:12 WKS Damon Englehutt (2) ASST: Samuel Massé (8), Alexis Daniel (13)