EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – While the Summerside Western Capitals climbed to second place in the country, the Edmundston Blizzard retained its honorable mention in the latest Canadian rankings compilation by Canadian Junior Hockey League experts released today.
Blizzard draws attention for a sixth straight week in this national ranking which includes 131 teams in 10 leagues.
Edmundston had a successful week, with two victories. A 4-2 win on Thursday in Fredericton was followed up with a 6-3 win at home against Grand Falls on Sunday. The Blizzard sit in second place in the Eastlink North. They show a record of 30-9-1-6.
Summerside leads the MHL with a record of 38-6-0-2 and can clinch both the Eastlink North and the overall regular season title with a win this week. The Western Capitals are riding a five-game winning streak after picking up three victories in four days this past week. Their week began with a 3-0 home win over the Campbellton Tigers last Thursday and followed that up with a 5-4 win in Campbellton the following night. On Sunday, Summerside doubled up the Truro Bearcats 4-2 at Credit Union Place.
The Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL, 45-8-0) kept their first place in the country, followed by Summerside (2nd) and the Coquitlam Express (3rd, BCHL, 45-8-1-1).
The Blizzard has only 6 games to play in the regular season, 3 on the road and 3 at home. The two games this week will not be easy. Edmundston will face Summerside in Prince Edward Island on Thursday (7 pm) and Fredericton in New Brunswick’s capital on Friday (7 pm). Fredericton and Campbellton are tied in third place with 51 points but Campbellton has two games in hand.
Summerside has moved up one step and ranks 3rd nationally. Two teams from the Alberta Junior Hockey League, the Sherwood Park Crusaders (44-7-0) and the Okotoks Oilers (42-6-4) rank respectively 1st and 2nd.
In less than a month, the MHL regular season will be over. The Blizzard has only 8 games left, 4 on the road and 4 at home. Its last game will be played on March 6. Four of these clashes promise because they will feature the Blizzard against the Fredericton (3 times) and the Campbellton Tigers (once). These two teams total 51 points each and are engaged in a fight for third place in the division.
In the North Eastlink Division, the four teams qualified for the playoffs are already known after the weekend games which saw the Grand Falls Rapids and the Miramichi Timberwolves scratched from the elimination rounds. In the South, it’s much tighter, where no team is yet qualified. Fourteen points separate the leaders (Yarmouth) from fifth place (Pictou County).
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The Blizzard will face the Western Capitals on Thursday. This photo between the two teams dates back to November 16 at the Jean-Daigle Centre. Photo Percy Picard
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Source: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone
* With MHL collaboration