Grand Falls start MHL exhibition schedule with two wins

The Grand Falls Rapids opened their first-ever Maritime Hockey League exhibition schedule with a pair of wins.

Jean-Simon Bélanger notched a hat trick in the team's 5-2 win Friday night over the St Stephen Aces at the Garcelon Civic Centre.

Mark Richard and Ryan Penney rounded out the scoring for the Rapids.

Goaltending duties were split between Dekker Kiely, who was a perfect 10 for 10 in save opportunities, and Nolan Boyd, who allowed two goals on 27 shots.

On Sunday, a full house of 1,200 plus fans at the E.&P. Senechal Centre witnessed an 8-3 win by Grand Falls over the defending MHL champion Edmundston Blizzard.

The Blizzard opened the scoring at 1:27 of the opening frame, by the Rapids poured in six goals before the end of the period.

Thirteen Rapids players found the scoresheet, with goals from MacKenzie Mindus (two), Ronan Rheaume, Broderick Black, Mark RIchard, Antoni Matte, Dawson Wood, and Matthew MacNeil.

Dominic Bonenfant started the game in goal for Grand Falls, stopping 18 of 20 shots he faced, and Andrew Rose took over halfway through the game, allowing just one goal on 12 shots.

The Rapids and Blizzard face off again in Edmundston on Wednesday, while Grand Falls hosts St. Stephen on Friday night.