GRAND FALLS, New Brunswick – Just seven days after the opening of their training camp, the Edmundston Blizzard players had their first test on the ice during an exhibition game on Friday evening which ended 5-3 in favor of the Grand Falls Rapids at the E & P Sénéchal Centre in front of 632 spectators.
A very honorable defeat for Emery Olauson’s troop who sent several youngsters who really impressed in the action, which looks good for the franchise over the next few seasons.
No doubt intimidated by the Rapids who opened their camp a few weeks earlier, the Blizzard players looked as though they needed some time to adjust. Grand Falls took a 4-1 lead with 7 minutes remaining in the third period, but the Blizzard’s determination and intensity ended up paying dividends in the closing minutes. If Grand Falls dominated the first half of the game, we can say that the young Blizzards were more energized in the second half.
Edmundston outshot Grand Falls 35-26, including 31 shots in the final 40 minutes. Goalkeepers Marc-Antoine Bérubé-Jalbert (Blizzard) and Gio Diamattia (Rapids) had to shine on many occasions. Bérubé-Jalbert conceded 4 goals to the Rapides, the 5th being scored in an empty net.
Ethan Johnson (1-1), Samuel Grégoire (1-0), Ben Lightbody (1-0), and Félix Rioux (0-2) were the best on the scoreboard for the Blizzard.
Drew Toner (2-1), Isaac Dixon, Adam Fowlow and Jérémie Gagnon scored for the Rapids.
Both teams will face off again on Sunday at 3 pm at the Jean-Daigle Centre in Edmundston.
– 30 –
Newcomer Samuel Grégoire (7) scores Blizzard’s second goal in the 3rd period. He deflected the puck past goalkeeper Gio Dimattia making the water bottle fly in the air. Photo Percy Picard.
– 30 –
Contact: Hugues Chiasson, Edmundston Blizzard vice-president communications; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone