Blizzard is Maritime champion!

The Edmundston Blizzard, 2018 MHL champion! Photo Olivier Chiasson in Yarmouth.

YARMOUTH, Nova Scotia – In its very first season in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League, the Edmundston Blizzard made history by claiming the playoff championship of the league thanks to a 5-2 win at the Yarmouth Mariners’ rink, on Tuesday night. The Blizzard won the final series 4-2.

The Blizzard thus concludes a dream season. After finishing first overall in the standings with 36 wins, 10 losses and 4 overtime defeats for 76 points, Ryan Salvis’s men eliminated successively the Miramichi Timberwolves (4-0), the Summerside Western Capitals (4-3) and the Yarmouth Mariners (4-2). Moreover, the Blizzard has received incredible support from its supporters. The last 17 games played at the Jean-Daigle Centre have been sold out, with more than 2,700 spectators each game. Tuesday, they were about 800 persons gathered at the Jean-Daigle Centre to watch the game on the big screen.

The players arrived very relaxed in Yarmouth after taking a 55-minute chartered flight instead of a long 12 hours bus trip. The Blizzard took control of the game, from the first goal of the game scored at 12:45 of the first period. They kept the lead for the rest of the game.

And Francis Asselin once again was outstanding in front of the Blizzard net, pushing away 35 of the 37 pucks against him. His rival Leif Hertz faced 33 shots.

Gabriel Vanier opened the scoring in the first period by grabbing a loose puck in front of Hertz who was lying on the ice. Liam Leonard and Dany Coulombe got the assists.

Both teams opened the machine in the second period when 5 goals were scored. During a two-man advantage, Alexandre Jacob deflected a fine pass from Alexandre Bernier at 1:07 to put the Blizzard ahead 2-0. Logan Johnston also had an assist. Yarmouth fought back at 2:54 with Brent Broaders beating Asselin. But Yarmouth’s celebrations were short-lived when Johnston gave Blizzard a two-goal lead (3-1). The Mariners narrowed the gap to 3-2 at 8:24 through Aaron Maillet. Before the second came to an end, Liam leonard scored at 16:03, allowing the Blizzard to return to the dressing room with a 4-2 lead. Vanier had an assist on the fourth goal.

The Blizzard played effortless in the third period and did not hesitate to attack. Three seconds from the end, Kyle Ward scored in an empty net to give the Blizzard a 5-2 win and the championship.

Author of six-game-winning goals, Kyle Ward has been named the playoffs’ most valuable player. Ward finished first in goals (15) and points (22).

The Blizzard will enjoy a week of rest before their participation to the Eastern Canadian Championship, the Fred Page Cup, to be held in Ottawa, From May 2ndto 6th. In addition to the Blizzard (representing the Maritimes), there will be the champions of the Quebec AAA Junior Hockey League, the Collège Français of Longueuil, the CCHL champions and tournament hosts, the Ottawa Junior Senators, and the CCHL runner-ups, the Carleton Place Canadians.

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