Blizzard holds on to get passed the Western Capitals

Alexandre Bernier (81, right) brought joy among his teammates when he scored the second goal of the evening to make it 2-0 for the Blizzard early in the third period. Bernier is followed by Mathieu Blanchard (8), Liam Leonard (7), Alex Lavoie (71) and Maxime Grandmaison. Photo Olivier Chiasson

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard won a crazy game on Friday at the Jean-Daigle Centre in front of 2,225 spectators. While the defense stole the show during the first two periods, the Blizzard and the Western Capitals scored no less than three goals each in the third and it was the Blizzard who prevailed by the final score of 4-3.

It was not until 7:33 of the middle period before seeing a first goal. Gabriel Vanier gave the Blizzard a 1-0 lead with a one-timer shot in the crease after receiving a superb pass from Alexandre Jacob.

At 1:04 of the third, the Blizzard doubled its lead thanks to Alexandre Bernier’s goal. The defenseman beat goalkeeper Rett Rook with a sharp wrist shot. It was from this moment that the two teams exchanged goals at a staggering pace.

During a two-man power play, the visitors got on the board through Cam Roberts at 4:10. The Blizzard then capitalized on a power-play at 7:52 via Maxime Grandmaison who gave his team a 3-1 lead. But TJ Shea, the league’s top scorer, who was not as sharp as he used to be, still managed to score on goalkeeper Myles Hektor.  The Blizzard led 3-2.

At 14:15, Vincent Rioux gave back the Blizzard its two-goal lead by scoring a masterpiece prepared by  Pierre Bourgoin and Patrick Pellerin. In the last stretch, the Western Capitals decided to risk everything by pulling their goalie out during a two-man power play and the strategy paid off. Cam Roberts scored his second goal of the evening to make it 4-3 Blizzard with exactly three minutes left. But Edmundston was able to whitstand the final assaults of the Western Capitals.

Alexandre Bernier (1st, 1 goal), Maxime Grandmaison (2nd, 1g, 1a) and Gabriel Vanier (3rd, 1g, 1a) earned the stars of the game.

Alexandre Jacob and Liam Leonard had a great game too with two assists each.

Blizzard led 35-26 on the shots on goal.

The victory was the 21st for Ryan Salvis’ squad, the most by any team in the Maritime Junior Hockey League. The Blizzard (21w, 4l, 3otl) has suffered only one regulation loss in its last 15 games. With 45 points, Edmundston has a 13-point priority at the top of the EastLink North Division and leads by four points in the league’s overall standings.

The Blizzard will play its last game of 2017 on Sunday, December 17, at 3 pm, when the teams hosts the Truro Bearcats (13w, 13l, 1sol).

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