EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard needed “all their little change” to defeat the Grand Falls Rapids on Friday night at the Jean-Daigle Centre for a 3-1 win and their 14th straight victory, their longest streak since arriving in Edmundston in 2017-2018.
The Blizzard hit a wall in the first two periods when the Rapids’ goalie, Frédéric Plourde, stopped everything that moved. Then, the Blizzard got up in the third period to finally take control of the game.
Grand Falls scored the first goal of the game at 4:07 of the second period when Mathis Huot (12th) scored on a one-timer that gave Thomas Boucher no chance. Grand Falls put up a good fight with four players on the roster.
Early in the third, who else but Olivier Coulombe (51st) would shake up his teammates by scoring a goal from a very narrow angle on a wrist shot. The Blizzard tied the game at 1-1 at 4:30. On a power play at 10:09, Jérémy Duguay (22nd) completed a great pass from Alex Arsenault to give the Blizzard the lead for good (2-1). Jeremy Fortin (9th) completed the scoring in an empty net with 22 seconds left.
With two assists, Arsenault (Blizzard) earned the first star of the game. With 40 saves, Plourde (Rapides) was selected as second star while Duguay (Blizzard), with a goal, was selected as third star.
Thomas Boucher was also up to the task in front of the Blizzard cage. He won his 21st game in 23 outings. He stopped 25 shots.
With Friday night’s win, the Campbellton Tigers (27-16-5-3) are guaranteed to finish third in their section and will face the Summerside Western Capitals (34-14-3-0) in the first round of the playoffs. That means the Blizzard (38-12-0-1) will take on the Miramichi Timberwolves (26-17-7-1) starting next week.
But first, the Blizzard will complete their regular season on Sunday, March 12 (7:30 p.m.) when they take on the Summerside Western Capitals in Prince Edward Island.
NOTES – Prior to the game, the Blizzard honoured its eight 20-year-old players who are finishing their junior career this season: Alex Arsenault, Thomas Boucher, Brandon Casey, Olivier Coulombe, Jérémy Duguay, Tristan Fortin, Patrick LeBlanc and Mitchell McLeod.
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Alex Arsenault once again shined as he set up the first two goals of the game for the Blizzard. (Photo Percy Picard)
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone