A loss that put the Blizzard into the playoffs!

AMHERST, Nova Scotia – It is rather paradoxical to announce that a defeat grants progress… This is what happened on Friday as the Edmundston Blizzard secured a participation in the MHL playoffs despite a 2-1 loss to the Amherst Ramblers on Friday night in Nova Scotia.

The Blizzard needed a point Friday to enter the spring waltz. That’s what the team got even if it was defeated in shootout. Combined with Miramichi’s loss, the Blizzard has also secured at least third place in its division. The 575 fans hat to wait until the eighth round to declare a winner. Casey Fox, of Rivière-Verte, beat goalkeeper Francis Asselin to end the fierced contested game. The Blizzard managed to score two goals in the shootout that would have won the game. But each time, the Ramblers responded to tie the game.

Colton McKenna opened the score for the Ramblers at 1:45 of the first period. Fans had to wait until 6:24 in the third period to see the Blizzard tie the game with the 26th goal of the season by captain Logan Johnston. The goal was scored during a power play.

Jean-Maxime Bond and Marc-Antoine Couture scored in the shootout for the Blizzard. Each time, the Ramblers fought back to tie things up before Fox closed the books.

The two goalies earned the first two stars of the game. Matt Williams (1st) was credited with the victory by repelling 31 shots. Francis Asselin (2nd) faced 42 shots. Asselin was solid throughout the game. In the fifth minute of the opening period, he made a miraculous stop by stealing the Ramblers with a certain goal. Amherst’s player shot in an apparent empty net but Asselin dove and grabbed the puck in his glove.

The Blizzard (22-16-5-1, 50 pts) leaves Nova Scotia with two points out of a possibility of four. Edmundston will play his next game in St. Stephen (17-24-
3, 37 pts) on Sunday at 3 pm.

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Logan Johnston scored his 26th goal of the season in the third period to force overtime. Photo archives Digiphoto

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