Bédard eclipses McCluskey; Blizzard prevails in Fredericton

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick – Félix Bédard picked up a goal and two assists when he set the tone for the Edmundston Blizzard, who turned in an outstanding performance to defeat the Fredericton Red Wings 4-1 in a Maritime Junior A Hockey League game played in the provincial capital.

Second star of the game, Bédard scored his 37th goal of the campaign early in the 3rd period (1:16) to break the back of the Red Wings and MHL points leader Carter McCluskey, who was held scoreless from the scoresheet for the first time in 14 games.

The Blizzard can thank their defensive brigade for an extraordinary evening, thanks in particular to the brilliance of defensemen Mathieu Boucher, Jérémie Thibodeau and Anastasios Lazaris. With only five defenders in uniform, the defensemen pulled out all the stops, and Boucher, to name but one, was extremely effective.

And what can we say about the confidence of veteran goalkeeper Nicholas Sheehan, who earned the game’s first star with 34 saves. Not only did he make all the important saves, but he also directed the returns to the right places to give wheels to his team’s attack.

Jérémy Fortin (27th, 1g, 1a), Dominic LeBlanc (24th, 1g, 1a) and Carl-Anthony Massé (10th) also scored for the Blizzard (37-12-1-0). The winning goal belonged to LeBlanc. Philippe Collette added his 43rd and 43rd assists of the campaign. In the opposing camp, the only player to break through Sheehan’s wall was Salem Johnson (3rd star, 4th) at 17:14 of the first period.

The Blizzard took a 2-1 lead in the first. They then extended their lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.

Edmundston and Fredericton (21-24-2-3) will meet again on Friday, March 8 at the Jean-Daigle Centre. The two teams will meet in the first elimination round of the MHL Metalfab Cup, starting next Thursday.

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For the 17th time this season (a team record), Félix Bédard collected at least three points in a game. He had a goal and two assists on Thursday night against Fredericton. Photo archives Percy Picard

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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone