Blizzard champions of the EastLink North division!

Justin Lush played an outstanding game both offensively and defensively on Friday. He had two assists and made a tremendous defensive play that led to the winning goal by Maxime Grandmaison. Photo archives Digiphoto

BERWICK, Nova Scotia – Mission accomplished for the Edmundston Blizzard who won the EastLink North division for the regular season of the Maritime Junior Hockey League on Friday night when the team edged the Valley Wildcats 4-1 at Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick, Nova Scotia.

The victory means that the Blizzard will enjoy the ice advantage in the playoff series played in its division. If the team ranks first overall after the 50-game calendar, the Blizzard will benefit ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Wildcats opened the score at 8:58 of the initial period. On a power play, Tarek Paranica beat goalkeeper Myles Hektor with a sharp and accurate shot from the slot.

The Blizzard did not take long to respond, also with a man advantage. Forward Dany Coulombe fired a lightning shot to tie the score at 10:11. Tristan Mercure and Gabriel Vanier collected the assists on the fourth goal of the campaign by Coulombe who had not scored in the team’s last 11 games.

It was not until 12:35 of the second period to see the Blizzard bring the Wildcats’ coup de grace. After a spectacular defensive play by defenseman Justin Lush, the Blizzard took the puck from its end zone to finally score. Maxime Grandmaison completed a superb play to get the winning goal. According to the game’s commentator, Grandmaison’s goal was one of the finest of the season at the Berwick arena. Lush and Alexandre Jacob earned the assists on the 16th goal of the season by Grandmaison.

At 2:32 of the second, the Blizzard raised the score to 3-1 on a power play. Gabriel Vanier grabbed a loose puck near the net to beat goaltender Cole McLaren. Coulombe and Lush got the helpers. This was Vanier’s 10th goal of the season.

Vanier got his second goal of the game at 6:06 of the third period with a sharp shot while the goalkeeper was screened. An assist was awarded to Liam Leonard, although the replay clearly showed that the puck came from Coulombe’s stick.

Edmundston led 43-26 in shots on goal. The Blizzard (34-9-3-0 = 71 points) will face the Ramblers (25-9-6-6 = 62 points) in Amherst on Saturday night.

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