Blizzard beats the Capitals twice… on the same night!

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard no longer has a complex. By defeating the Summerside Western Capitals in the same night on Friday at the Jean-Daigle Centre, it felt like exorcising their demons.

With these two wins 59 minutes apart (surely a record!), the Blizzard secured a place in the playoffs, the first team from the Eastlink North division to qualify for the MHL’s spring waltz.

The Blizzard shook off a deep lethargy of 17 straight losses (including 5 in a shootout) against their Prince Edward Island rivals by winning 3-2 first in a regular game then 6-5 in overtime in a game that had to be completed by playing the third period of the suspended game of January 28.

In the first game of three 15-minute periods, Patrick LeBlanc (1st star) took matters into his own hands with a couple of goals including the winning one. Evan Gass (3rd star) scored the other goal for the Blizzard. Jérémy Duguay (2nd star) collected two assists.

Connor Keough and Tate Brenner replied for the Western Capitals.

Visiting goaltender Chad Arsenault has been tested 37 times. Thomas Boucher, who was making a comeback, faced 29 shots in front of the Blizzard goal.

6-5 OT win
After the first game, both teams returned to the rink to complete the January 28 game suspended due to the poor condition of the ice surface. With a 5-3 lead after two periods in January, the Blizzard saw the Capitals come out on top. The latter used their favorite weapon, their powerful power play unit, to score twice with the advantage of a player and tie the score 5-5 (goals of William Irvine at 3:17 and Marc Richard at 13: 54) thus forcing the overtime. The Blizzard seemed to slow down as the evening progressed. And that’s where the Saint-Charles-de-Kent rocket, Alex Arsenault took matters into his own hands in overtime. After Olivier Coulombe and Jérémie Thibodeau exchanged the puck, Arsenault stormed from his defensive zone to opposing territory to skate himself alone in front of Chad Arsenault, whom he skillfully fooled between the pads. The goal, scored just 17 seconds in, gave a 6-5 victory and sowed hysteria among the nearly 2,200 spectators in attendance, a scene reminiscent of the frenzy felt during the first season’s playoff winning road of the Blizzard in 2017-2018.

Goalkeepers on each side faced 37 shots. Thomas Boucher was the in front of Blizzard’s net. After starting on January 28, Brandon Abbott gave way to Chad Arsenault for the third period, which decision rightfully belonged to the Western Capitals since the names of the two goaltenders appeared on the game sheet on January 28.

The only negative point of the evening was the inability of Olivier Coulombe to continue his series of consecutive games with at least one point, a straight that was stopped at 27.

The break will be short-lived for the Blizzard, which will face the Amherst Ramblers on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in another game played at the Jean-Daigle Center.

The Blizzard (30-12-0-1 = 61 points) now hold a five-point lead over the Capitals (27-14-2-0 = 56 points) and seven over the Campbellton Tigers (24-13-4 -2 = 54 dots). The top three teams played 43 games each. They only have nine left to complete the regular schedule.

– 30 –

Patrick LeBlanc (left) scored twice in Friday’s opener including the game winner. The other photo shows Alex Arsenault celebrate after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime in the third period that completed the Jan. 28 suspended game.. (Photos Percy Picard)

– 30 –

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