Blizzard bounces back to beat Tigers

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard nearly paid dearly for their indiscipline in the second period. Fortunately, guided by another exemplary effort from Jeremy Fortin, who netted three goals, the Blizzard finally triumphed over the tough Campbellton Tigers, 6-4, Thursday evening at the Jean-Daigle Centre.

After seeing the Tigers strike with lightning speed early on thanks to Jett McCullum’s goal, the Blizzard took charge with three consecutive goals in the first period. Jérémy Fortin scored his 13th and 14th goals of the campaign 4:18 apart, both times with wrist shots close to the glove of goaltender Dekon Randell-Snow. At 18:46, Philippe Collette made it 3-1 with a sharp shot on the stick side of the Tigers goaltender.

But late in the first frame, the sky fell for the Blizzard, who took two successive penalties that paved the way for Tyler Pazin and Riley Dubois to score early in the second to tie the game 3-3. William Schofield came back to haunt his former team, giving the visitors a 4-3 lead with another man-advantage goal at 15:02. It was the first time in their history that the Blizzard had allowed the opponent three power-play goals in the same period.

Hoping to shake up his players, head coach Simon Olivier replaced his starting goaltender, Samuel LeBlanc, with veteran Nicholas Sheehan to start the third period. The move paid off. After an all-out effort, Justin Hébert lifted the Jean-Daigle Centre crowd to their feet by levelling the score at 11:06 with his sixth goal of the season. Ace scorer Félix Bédard scored the winner at 17:22 with his 21st goal. Then, at 19:32, Fortin sealed the victory with his third goal of the evening in an empty net. It was a second hat-trick for the combative Blizzard forward.

Edmundston finished the evening with a 39-22 advantage in shots. Samuel LeBlanc stopped 11 of 15 pucks. Nicholas Sheehan was perfect on 7 shots and earned the win.

Fortin (1st), Bédard (2nd) and Schofield (3rd) were named the stars of the game.

This valuable win puts the race for first place in the Eastlink North division back on track. The Blizzard (20-8-1-0) closed to within three points of the West-Kent Steamers (21-7-2-0) and have one more game to play, which they will do on Friday, December 22, when they host the Fredericton Red Wings (14-12-2-2) starting at 7:30 pm.

The Blizzard’s regulation-time unbeaten streak now stands at 11 games (10-0-1-0).

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Jérémy Fortin shouts with joy after scoring one of his two goals in the first period. He completed his hat trick late in the game. Photo Percy Picard

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