Blizzard overturns the Red Wings in the 3rd to win 4-3

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard scored three unanswered goals in the third period to surf to a 4-3 victory over the Fredericton Red Wings in a Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MHL) game played in the provincial capital.

Trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes of play, the Blizzard closed the gap to one goal thanks to Marco Martin’s 3rd goal of the campaign at 2:12 of the final frame. Dominic LeBlanc (22nd) grabbed a rebound to tie the score 3-3 at 8:38. Forty-three seconds later, Philippe Collette (27th) unleashed a shot from the point to score the winner on the power play.

The hosts quickly took the lead in the game thanks to Carter McCluskey (42nd), who expertly foiled goalkeeper Nicholas Sheehan at 1:44.

The Blizzard served the same medicine to the Red Wings, scoring early in the middle period with Jérémy Fortin’s 26th goal. But the Wings came back strong with goals from Slava Melikov (28th) and Cam Thomson (25th).

First star of the evening, Félix Bédard completed his day’s work with three assists. Melikov (2nd star) and McCluskey (3rd star) picked up one goal and two assists each in the loss that mathematically keeps the Wings from earning yet a birth into the playoffs. It should only be a matter of time, as Fredericton needs a win or a loss from the Campbellton Tigers to secure their playoff berth. With yesterday’s loss, the Grand Falls Rapids saw their last playoff chances evaporate.

Nicholas Sheehan picked up his 27th win in front of the Blizzard cage. He received 37 shots. At the other end, Zachary Bridgeo faced 31 shots. Even though he wasn’t considered for a star, forward Marco Martin did a remarkable job, applying a good number of checks and being in the face of his opponents throughout the game.

The Blizzard (34-11-1-0) total 69 points, seven more than the West-Kent Steamers (30-14-2-0) at the top of the MHL’s Eastlink North division. The two teams have played 46 games each. Both teams have just six games until the end of the regular season.

The Blizzard return to the ice on Thursday, February 29 (7:30 p.m.) when they host the Yarmouth Mariners. This will be the first match-up in Edmundston between the finalists of the last playoffs. Simon Olivier’s men won 6-2 on September 30 in Yarmouth.

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Marco Martin was one of the Blizzard’s spark plugs in Fredericton. In addition to scoring the Blizzard’s second goal, he annoyed the Red Wings players at every shift. Photo archives Percy Picard

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