After a slow first period that saw only 15 shots, the Grand Falls Rapids started the second period quickly. Having possession behind the net, a quick pass out front was positioned perfectly for the Rapids forward. Thirty seconds into the fresh period and the Fredericton Red Wings were already down a goal. But the response led to a seven goal period, with the Red Wings holding a 4-3 lead going into the third period.
“I thought that [Grand Falls] kept pushing pretty good,” said Brain Casey, Red Wings head coach. “Obviously we had some powerplay goals, which gave us a bit of life.”
Four of the six goals from Fredericton came on the powerplay.
After giving up a quick goal in the second, Fredericton took the lead five minutes later. Earning their first goal was Evan Benwell, as he buried a loose puck that deflected off the pad of the Rapids goalie. Less than a minute later, what seemed like a dump in from Declan MacEachern, found its way above the Rapids netminder, getting over his blocker. Fredericton took a 2-1 lead.
The Red Wings and the Rapids proceeded to go back and forth in the period, as Sasha Charbonneau and Nathan Kelly each had a goal. Fredericton led 4-3 at the end of the second period.
The Red Wings special teams continued to be vital for them down the stretch. Casey said it’s what won them the game.
“Credit to all those guys who were in those roles,” said Casey.
Late in the period, with the game tied at four, the Rapids took two penalties giving Fredericton a chance to take a late game lead.
With a 5-on-3, Fredericton passed the puck to Benwell in front of the net. Benwell made a perfectly placed, cross-crease pass that left a wide open net for Charbonneau to slap in his second goal of the game.
The Red Wings would seal the deal with an empty net goal with 50 seconds left. Grand Falls would get a late goal with 11 seconds remaining, but it was too late for a comeback. They were unable to create another shot, as the Red Wings took their tenth win of the season.