GRAND FALLS – Two power play goals by Alexis Daniel was all the scoring thet the West Kent Steamers needed on Friday night, which led them to a 2-1 victory over the Rapids at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
Daniel, a former Moncton Wildcat who is also the Steamers’ team captain, tallied his 2nd and 3rd goals of the campaign, giving the West Kent squad its third victory of the season in four games.
Special teams made the difference in this contest. Despite going 0 for 3 on the power play, the Rapids scored their lone goal while playing shorthanded.
It took 18 minutes of play after the first puck drop before a team could get on the board. Daniel’s wrist shot from the faceoff circle with the man advantage beat Rapids’ netminder Adam Lecours to the far side, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead at 18:28 of the first period.
Daniel would score again, on a one-timer, at the 12-minute mark of the second period as the Rapids’ got into penalty trouble. Grand Falls had a long stretch of minutes to serve in the penalty box in the second part of the frame, but the Steamers could not cash in to inflict further damage.
The third period started the same way it ended for the Rapids as they had to defend themselves shorthaned for five minutes following a major penalty.
Instead of seeing their opponents add a third goal, it was the Rapids’ turn to score when Dominic LeBlanc was able to get through the defense, scoring with a backhanded shot while on a breakaway. It was LeBlanc’s 5th goal of the season, which cut the Steamers’ lead to 2-1.
Chances came up for the Rapids to tie the score, but West Kent goalkeeper Olivier Dallaire stood tall in front of the net.
Adam Lecours also had a great game between the pipes for Grand Falls, blocking 29 shots and keeping his team in the game as long as he could. It was Lecours’ first start in goal in a Rapids’ uniform. He did see some action last Wednesday night in Miramichi as he came in the game in the second period.
The Rapids sent a total of 25 shots on goal and were confronted by a solid defensive unit.
Greg Leland’s squad now falls at 1 win and 3 losses on the season. Next up: the Campbellton Tigers Sunday afternoon (3pm) at the E.&P. Sénéchal Centre.
*Defenseman Olivier Beaudoin also picked up 2 points for West Kent with a pair of assists.
*West Kent was 2 for 8 with the man advantage while the Rapids were shutout on 3 PP opportunities. They have now gone 0 for 9 on the power play over the last two games played.
*Game attendance: 981
*Three stars of the game: 1- Alexis Daniel (WKS); 2- Adam Lecours (GFR); 3- Olivier Dallaire (WKS)
18:28 WKS Alexis Daniel (2) ASST: Olivier Beaudoin (2), Cam White (1) (PP)
11:59 WKS Alexis Daniel (3) ASST: Samuel Massé (3), Olivier Beaudoin (3) (PP)
1:06 GFR Dominic LeBlanc (5) ASST: None (SH)