GRAND FALLS – Goaltender Frédéric Plourde made a total of 32 saves on Wednesday at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre, leading the Truro Bearcats to a 3-1 victory over the Grand Falls Rapids.
Plourde, a native of nearby St.Leonard, was solid all game long, earning first star honors.
He was particularly sharp in the last few minutes of the contest when the Rapids tried desperately to tie the score.
Holden Kodak scored the game winning goal for Truro, breaking a 1-1 tie at 7:29 of the third period. Kodak added his second goal of the game in an empty net later in the frame.
Dominic Leblanc, with his 22nd tally of the season, was the lone goal scorer for the Rapids who are now on a four-game winless streak.
Grand Falls’ record for the season now stands at 12 wins, 21 losses and 2 extra time defeats for a total of 26 points. Their home record is now at 8 wins and 11 losses, including 2 overtime or shootout losses.
The game was played at a very quick pace and even though only four goals were scored in the entire contest, both teams opened up the offense on numerous occasions.
As a matter of fact, the opening period was played with very few stoppages of play as both teams had some momentum swings as well as good scoring opportunities.
The Rapids were first to get on the board on a power play at the 4-minute mark of the period. Dominic Leblanc, with his 22nd goal of the season, beat netminder Frédéric Plourde with a wrister from the slot area.
Truro came back to tie the score at 10:45 on a tip in front from Ben Sheffar as goaltender Gio DiMattia had great circulation in front of him.
Shots on goal were 11 to 7 in favour of Grand falls through twenty minutes of play.
Both goaltenders stole the show in the second period. Plourde made some dazzling saves, especially when his team was penalized twice in the first 5 minutes of the frame.
As for DiMattia, he made 12 saves and held the Bearcats off the board as it was their turn later in the period to go on consecutive power plays.
No goals were scored in the frame as both teams skated away to a 1-1 tie after two periods of play.
The third period was more offensive minded as 25 shots in total were registered with Truro leading in that department, 13 to 12.
Holden Kodak put the visitors ahead for good at 7:29 on a rebound in front of the net. DiMattia tried to freeze the puck, but Kodak was quick to pounce on the rebound, giving the Bearcats a 2-1 lead.
Kodak would later add his second tally of the night in an empty net with only 5 seconds remaining in the contest.
The Rapids will play their next game on Friday night, their last one this season in front of their home fans. The Amherst Ramblers will be the visitors with puck drop at 7:30 pm at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
*Holden Kodak (2g) was the only player on both sides to earn more than 1 point on Wednesday night. It was his 10th and 11th goals of the season.
For the Rapids, Yannic Bastarache and Nico Laforge both assisted on Dominic Leblanc’s 22nd goal of the season.
*It was a 16th victory for the Bearcats this season as they hold 3rd spot in the Eastlink South standings with 34 points. They are 4 points back of the Amherst Ramblers who are sitting second in the division standings.
*Both teams finished the game with 1 goal in 5 power play opportunities.
*Three stars of the game: 1- Frédéric Plourde (TRU); Holden Kodak (TRU); Gio DiMattia (GFR)
*Game attendance : 631 spectators
4:22 GFR Dominic Leblanc (22) ASST: Yannic Bastarache (20), Nico Laforge (2) (PP)
10:45 TRU Ben Sheffar (5) ASST: Ben Fraser (4)
7:29 TRU Holden Kodak (10) ASST: Tanner Humber-Dredge (21), Gavin Hart (17) (PP)
19:55 TRU Holden Kodak (11) ASST: None (EN)