Overtime Heroics: Rapids Clinch Thrilling Victory Against Royals

The Paugan Falls Rapids etched a memorable chapter in their inaugural season story with a dramatic 4-3 overtime win against the Bytown Royals. The Sunday showdown at the Gatineau Valley Arena was nothing short of a hockey odyssey, with local veteran defenseman Bryan Kealey emerging as the hero by scoring his first EOSHL goal to claim victory.

A Veteran's Moment in the Spotlight

Kealey's game-winning wrist shot in overtime sent the 500-strong home crowd into a frenzy. This wasn't just any goal—it was a seasoned player delivering when it mattered most, on home ice, amidst the electric playoff atmosphere. His strike not only secured the win but also served as a beacon of local pride, celebrating a local player who has been dedicated to the team since it's inception.

Stalwart Performances Lead the Charge

The Rapids' success was underpinned by the standout efforts of their veteran players. Cole Peck, Ryan Peck, and Sam McLaughlin all netted goals, providing the foundation for the team's early 3-0 lead. The heroics continued between the pipes, with goaltender Aidan Foley making an astounding 49 saves, holding the fort during critical moments of the game.

A Night of High Emotion

The game's intensity was matched by a heart-stopping moment when Bytown Royals' forward William Venne was involved in a harrowing incident, resulting in him leaving the ice on a stretcher. The game paused for about an hour as concern filled the arena. Rapids' goalie and paramedic Aidan Foley, alongside Rapids Trainer Madi Skirda and the dedicated volunteers from the Low Fire Department, worked in unison to stabilize Venne with professionalism and care. Their swift and expert response in this critical moment was a poignant reminder of the close-knit fabric of the hockey community, where the health and safety of players transcend on-ice rivalries.

The Rapids Rally

After the game resumed, the Royals found a way to claw back into contention, tying the game and pushing the Rapids to the brink. But the home side, bolstered by the passionate support of their fans, refused to buckle. The determination was evident in every blocked shot, every hard-fought faceoff, and every drive down the ice.

Looking Ahead

With this victory, the Rapids have now set their sights on the formidable North Dundas Rockets, the league's reigning champions. The upcoming games on February 24th and 25th promise to be another landmark in the Rapids' quest for glory. The team's resilience will be tested once again, but with their roster at full strength and a community that stands behind them, the Rapids are ready for the challenge.


The Rapids' overtime triumph is more than a playoff win; it's a testament to their growth, their commitment to each other, and their bond with the community. As they prepare to take on the Rockets, the Rapids carry with them not just the momentum of victory, but the spirit of the Gatineau Valley—a spirit that says, no matter the odds, they will fight until the last puck drops.