The Tigers bounced back from a Friday setback at the hands of the Rapids to earn an impressive win on Sunday in Miramichi. Against Grand Falls too many trips to the penalty box hurt Campbellton as the Rapids notched three power play goals before Antoine Gauthier and Joel Walker could respond for the Tigers. For Gauthier, it was his first of the season and came off a deflection of a shot by Pier-Olivier Michaud. The goal by Walker came about four minutes later as the result of hard work by Drew Toner and Jared Janke deep in the Rapids’ end. After Janke just missed a pass from Toner, he dug the puck out from behind the net and tapped it back to Walker who jammed it past the Rapids’ goalie, Andrew Rose. Although the Tigers continued to press, Rose stood his ground, allowed nothing else past him and, for his outstanding performance, picked up the first game star. Walker was named the third star. Tristan Gray played a strong game in net for the Tigers stopping twenty-nine shots and not allowing an even strength goal.
On Sunday afternoon, Campbellton hit the ice with a full head of steam, determined to reclaim second place in the North. Miramichi’s recent wins over Summerside and Grand Falls had moved them a single point ahead of the Tigers. From the opening face-off the Tigers controlled the play, forced the Timberwolves to defend deep in their defensive zone and peppered Miramichi’s goalie, Stewart Bagnell with eighteen shots. At the other end of the ice, Isaak Pelletier faced only a pair of shots during that first twenty minutes. In spite of the dominance, the Tigers were unable to force the puck over the goal line and headed into the first intermission in a scoreless tie.
In the second frame Campbellton finally broke through and netted one with Perry redirecting a shot by Dylan Coffey past Bagnell. The play was set up by tough forechecking along the boards by Perry and Pascal Valcourt. Six minutes later, the lead was doubled by Charles-William Gagné. With a Timberwolf off for slashing, the Tigers were able to keep the pressure on in Miramichi`s zone. Off of a face-off a Miramichi defender tried to hammer the puck around the right boards but Michaud pinched in to keep the puck deep in the zone. Gagné picked up the puck, skated through the circle and fired a quick shot into the top corner. Maxime Charest also got an assist on the play.
The Tigers went up 3-0 in the third period, again with the man advantage, when a hard shot from the right face-off circle by Antoine Gauthier beat Bagnell on the glove side. He had been set up for the shot when Lucas MacAulay managed to keep the puck in the Timberwolves’ zone. Charest picked it up, skated towards the slot and then passed over to Gauthier alone in the circle. Miramichi showed a little determination late in the third and netted a power play goal off the stick of Johnny Foley but the spark was extinguished when Valcourt responded with an empty net goal with a minute and a tick left in the game. He had been set up by Perry.
Isaak Pelletier was named the game’s third star, Bagnell the second, and Gagné picked up first star honours.
The win allowed the Tigers to reclaim second place in the North, a single point ahead of the Timberwolves and two more than Edmundston. However, Campbellton has played three games fewer than Miramichi and two less than the Blizzard.