Inspired by a masterful performance by goalkeeper Francis Asselin, the Blizzard (32-9-3-0 = 67 pts) triumphed 6-3 to regain the overall lead of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MHL). Yarmouth (32-12-1-0 = 65 pts) previously tied Edmundston with two wins on Friday and Saturday.
The Mariners began the contest as if they were well rested even if they arrived at Edmundston the day before at the early hours of the morning. Yarmouth clearly dominated in the first 20 minutes. They totalled 14 shots against 6 for the locals. Andrew Martell opened the score for the Mariners at 6:20.
Trailing 1-0, the Blizzard gained momentum in the second period. Gabriel Vanier tied the score. Then, Tristan Mercure gave Blizzard a one-goal priority during a power play. Martell however brought the two teams back to square one at 19:43. Alexandre Jacob surprised the Mariners’ defense by scoring with only 4 seconds left in the second. The Blizzard never looked back afterwards.
Maxime Grandmaison found a brilliant way to celebrate his 18th birthday by giving the lead back to the Blizzard with a nice goal on the power play at 11:32. And it was the winning one. Behind 4-2, the Mariners pulled out their goalie and the strategy paid off as Adam Pilotte closed the gap to one goal at 18:14. But the Blizzard closed the books with two empty goals, those of Alexandre Jacob, his second goal of the game, and Alexandre Bernier.
Jacob added an assist to complete his weekend with eight points. Logan Johnston also had a good game with two assists.
Francis Asselin earned the game’s first star. He pushed away 29 of the 32 pucks he faced. Mariners goaltender Leif Hertz allowed four goals on 34 shots.
The game was a real battle played in front of a loud and energetic crowd. A total of 110 penalty minutes were called by the referees, with most penalties occuring during scuffles at the end of the second period and in the final moment of the game.
The Blizzard, which has only six games until the end of the regular season, will play its last game of the month Saturday, February 24 in Miramichi.
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone