GRAND FALLS – Guided by a 2-goal and 2-assist performance from Dawson Stairs, the Campbellton Tigers erased a quick three-goal deficit, earning à 5-3 victory Sunday afternoon in Grand Falls against the Rapids.

Jonathan Cormier, Dominic LeBlanc and Ben Diamond gave the Rapids a quick 3-0 lead in the opening period, but the Tigers scored five unanswered goals to register their 24th victory of the season.
Campbellton dominated their opponents 36 to 27 in the shots on goal department.

The loss leaves the Rapids with a record of 17 wins, 22 losses and 1 shootout defeat for a total of 35 points, which is 12 points less than the Miramichi Timberwolves who hold the 4th and final playoff spot in the Eastlink North division standings. Both teams will square off on Tuesday night in Miramichi in a must-win situation for the Rapids.

The game started out on a promising note for Greg Leland’s squad. With only 17 seconds after the first puck drop, defenseman Jonathan Cormier’s wrist shot from the point beat Tigers’ goalkeeper Xavier Farrah. Then Cormier took part in the scoring once again at 1:53 when his slap shot from the point was tipped in by Dominc LeBlanc who registered his 19th goal of the campaign. And at the 6-minute mark of the period, Mathis Huot sent a pass in front of the net, picked up by Ben Diamond who sent a wrist shot in the top corner of the net. At that point, the Rapids were ahead 3-0 and dominating their opponents.

The Tigers did get back in the game however, scoring twice before the end of the opening frame. Justin David scored on a back hand shot at 10:45 while Peter Stanger beat netminder Charles-Antoine Julien to the far corner of the net with only 36 seconds remaining, cutting the Rapids lead to only one goal through twenty minutes of play.

The Rapids dominated puck possession in the first period and had the circle game going, but that wasn’t the case in the second period as the Tigers slowed down the pace, leaving Grand Falls’ players with less space to manoeuver with the puck.
Campbellton took advantage with two quick goals, both scored by Dawson Stairs at 22 seconds of play and at 3:37, the last one coming on a two-on-one rush.

Ex-Rapids’ Ethan Dollemont added the Tigers fifth goal at 13:51.
The top line of the Tigers picked up 9 points in this contest: Dawson Stairs (2g 2a), Ethan Dollemont (1g 1a) and Jake Kyle (3a).

Dominic LeBlanc did not finish the game for the Rapids as he was ejected for a major infraction late in the first period. LeBlanc was having a great game with 1 goal and 1 assist. Jonathan Cormier also finished the game with 1g and 1a for the Rapids.

Patrick Thibault

*The Tigers scored three goals while playing four on four.
The first period saw some heavy hitting on both sides, which resulted in many penalties being called, notably in the second half of the frame.

*Game attendance: 751 spectators

*Three stars of the game: 1- Dawson Stairs (CAM) 2- Ethan Dollemont (CAM); 3- Jonathan Cormier (GFR)

0:17 GFR Jonathan Cormier (3) ASST: Dominic LeBlanc (19), Yannic Bastarache (32)

1:53 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (19) ASST: Ethan Johnson (11), Jonathan Cormier (8)

6:01 GFR Ben Diamond (21) ASST: Josh Russell (4), Mathis Huot (22)

10:45 CAM Justin David (24) ASST: Jadon Reimer (28), Nick Dyson (12)

19:24 CAM Peter Stanger (10) ASST: Dawson Stairs (33), Ryan Hackett (8)

0:22 CAM Dawson Stairs (27) ASST: Jake Kyle (37)

3:37 CAM Dawson Stairs (28) ASST: Ethan Dollemont (22), Jake Kyle (38)

13:51 CAM Ethan Dollemont (10) ASST: Dawson Stairs (34), Jake Kyle (39)