EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Mitchell McLeod couldn’t have chosen a better time to score his first goal of the season.
With 43 seconds remaining in the third period, the Nova Scotian forward brought joy to the home crowd as he converted a 3-on-1 shorthanded rush to score the winning goal helping the Edmundston Blizzard edge the Miramichi Timberwolves 5-4 on Friday night at the Jean-Daigle Centre. Rather than passing the puck, which would have been risky in the event of a counterattack, McLeod had the brilliant idea to take a wrist shot that beat goaltender Daniel Moody on the glove side.
Jérémy Duguay was in the penalty box when the winning goal was scored. Duguay breathed a sigh of relief, after having one of his best games in the Blizzard uniform with a three-assists effort and smartly executed plays throughout the night. He rightfully deserved the third star of the game.
A victory that feels gool for Emery Olauson’s players, who were playing their first home game since January 3rd. The Blizzard got his revenge after suffering a 4-3 upset 48 hours earlier against the same Timberwolves.
Isaac Chapman (1st star) had his 12th and 13th goals of the campaign, a team high he shares with Joshua Nadeau who had an assist in the game. Chapman, who added an assist, has now recorded at least a point in all 12 games in which he played this season. Meanwhile, Nadeau brought his point streak to 13 games.
In his second MHL game, Cole Stewart tallied a goal and two assists. Zachary Cadorette was the other Blizzard scorer. Edmundston took sole possession of the top spot of the Eastlink North division. With a 10-2-0-2 record for 22 points, the Blizzard has a one-point lead over the Grand Falls Rapids (8-3-2-3).
Goaltender Oliver Troop played his first MHL game for the Blizzard. The giant 6’6’’ goalie faced 29 shots to earn the win. His opponent Moody received 42 shots. If the game was close, it was because of his stellar play.
The pace of the game was strangely similar to Wednesday’s game, except that the victory went to the locals. Edmundston took a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. After tying the score at 2-2 in the second frame, the Timberwolves saw the Blilzzard regain the lead with 11 seconds left in the period. After a successful penaly kill of more than four minutes, the Timberwolves came back to life to score two consecutive goals at 4:20 and 4:45 in the third period to take a 4-3 lead. Chapman replied at 8:29 and McLeod sealed the outcome in the last minute of play.
Gavin Watt, twice (2nd star), Spencer Blackwell and Jérémie Hébert found the back of the net for the Timberwolves (8-6-1-0).
The Blizzard will get back to work on Saturday night (7:30 p.m.) when it hosts the Campbellton Tigers (6-9-0-1). On Sunday (7 p.m.), Edmundston and Campbellton will play once again, this time in the Restigouche county.
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Jérémy Duguay collected three assists in a game for the third time this season. Photos Percy Picard
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, Edmundston Blizzard vice-president communications; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone