GRAND FALLS – The Campbellton Tigers scored five unanswered goals, including three in the second period, leading them to a 7-4 victory Friday night against the Rapids.
It was the home opener for Grand Falls and the Rapids’ first game of the 2023-2024 regular season schedule.
Keifer Lyons led the way offensively for the Tigers with two goals. Finn Morris, Benjamin DeJong, Tyler Pazin, Ethan Clements and Justin David completed the scoring for Campbellton who has now won its first three games of the new season. The Tigers played a strong forechecking game and took advantage of some turnovers, capitalizing from the slot on a few occasions.
Nicholas Brennan, Cole MacWilliam, Dominic LeBlanc and Bryce Thomson replied for the Rapids who led their opponents 34 to 31 in the shots on goal department.
The Rapids were first to get on the board when Nicholas Brennan’s shot found the back of the net at 5:53 of the opening frame. Tigers’ netminder Dekan Randell-Snow had partially blocked the shot, but the puck was apparently lodged to his skate as it crossed the goal line.
It didn’t take time however for the Tigers to respond. Finn Morris sent a wrist shot through traffic in front of Rapids’ goalie Gio DiMattia, tying the game at 1-1 at 6:41.
Then the visitors took the lead at 14:26 on a two-on-one break. Benjamin DeJong was credited with the goal.
Grand Falls did come close to tying the score following a scramble in front of the opposing net late in the frame, but the Tigers were able to resist and skate away with the lead after twenty minutes of play.
Defensive miscues led to three unanswered goals by Campbellton in the second period. Tyler Pazin added his team’s third goal at 1:17, followed by tallies from Kiefer Lyons and Ethan Clements.
Trailing by four goals, the Rapids did score twice before the end of the period, courtesy of Cole MacWilliam at 18:19 on a rebound in front of the net, followed by Dominic LeBlanc’s goal only 9 seconds later.
After two periods of play, the Tigers held a 5-3 lead as shots on goal were even at 22.
Campbellton took a 7-3 lead in the final frame on goals from Keifer Lyons (his second of the game) and Justin David who had a good night offensively with 1 goal and 2 assists.
Bryce Thomson scored the Rapids’ fourth goal at 13:50 of the period on a shot that went off the goaltender’s glove.
Thomson would finish the game with 1 goal and 1 assist while Jeremy Boulanger, in his first game as a Rapid, had a couple of assists to his credit.
The Rapids will return to action Saturday night as they travel to Fredericton to play the Red Wings. Puck drop is at 7 pm.
*Three stars of the game: 1- Keifer Lyons (CAM); 2-Justin David (CAM); 3- Cole MacWilliam (GFR)
5:53 GFR Nicholas Brennan (1) ASST: Jeremy Boulanger (1)
6:41 CAM Finn Morris (1) ASST: Riley Dubois (3), Benjamin de Jong (3)
14:26 CAM Benjamin de Jong (2) ASST: Luke Thorne (2)
1:17 CAM Tyler Pazin (3) ASST: Justin David (3)
11:52 CAM Kiefer Lyons (3) ASST: None
13:56 CAM Ethan Clements (1) ASST: Bates Ling (1), Daniel Khatib (1)
18:19 GFR Cole MacWilliam (1) ASST: Bryce Thomson (1), Ty Hunter (1)
18:28 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (1) ASST: None
5:47 CAM Kiefer Lyons (4) ASST: Justin David (4), Nick Dyson (4)
9:49 CAM Justin David (3) ASST: Kiefer Lyons (6), Jack Brown (1)
13:50 GFR Bryce Thomson (1) ASST: Ethan Johnson (1), Jeremy Boulanger (2)