GRAND FALLS, New Brunswick – Inspired by an excellent performance by goaltender Simon Couroux, the Edmundston Blizzard continued their momentum Sunday afternoon in Grand Falls by shutting out the Rapids 4 to 0 in front of 797 spectators gathered at the E. & P. Sénéchal Center.
The Blizzard largely dominated the first 40 minutes of play, imposing their rhythm with fast play and good group cohesion. It was a bit more difficult in the third period, but with a 3-0 lead and goalkeeper Simon Couroux in great shape, Edmundston was able to turn away the opponent assaults.
For Couroux, who stopped all 24 shots, it was the first shutout in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League since his first game in a Blizzard uniform last February. In all, he dressed up in 10 regular season games with the blue and white.
Tristan Fortin opened the scoring at 6:10 of the initial period, with his fourth of the campaign, on a power play. He converted on a nice passing effort between Jérémie Thibodeau and Alex Arsenault to score with a one-timer shot.
The Blizzard struck with lightning speed to start the second period. On a face-off, with just 21 seconds into the period, Noah Matulu won the face-off and Marco Martin spun around and his shot made its way between the skates of defenseman Hunter Gartley to hit the post and go into the net. A shot of rare precision from Martin and a first career goal for the first choice of the past MHL draft.
At 4:04 of the second, Mathieu Pelletier gave a hard blow to the Rapids with a wrister from the slot that beats goalkeeper Frédéric Plourde on the blocker’s side. The Blizzard took a 3-0 lead on Pelletier’s first goal of the season.
At 10:38 into the third period, Peter Amanatidis scored his fourth goal of the season following hard work by Fortin who stole the puck from a Rapids defenseman behind Plourde’s net. Amanatidis only had to lodge the disc over the tall goalkeeper.
Fortin (1st star, 1g, 1a) and Matulu (2a) each collected two points. Defenseman Olivier Beaudoin, who carried the puck at will during the game, was chosen the second star of the afternoon. The third went to Couroux.
The Blizzard recorded a second consecutive victory after suffering four losses to start the new season. Simon Olivier’s men will be back in front of their fans in Edmundston next Friday when they host the Fredericton Red Wings (2-3-0-0).
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Goaltender Simon Couroux makes one of his 24 saves of the afternoon in front of Rapids forward Mathis Huot (91). Photo Percy Picard
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone