Blizzard prevails in shootout

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Dominic LeBlanc (21st) scored the game’s first goal, and the tie-breaker in the shootout, as the Edmundston Blizzard snatched two hard-fought points against the Truro Bearcats in a 4-3 win in front of a great crowd of 2,564 at the Jean-Daigle Centre on this long Family Day weekend.

Fans got their money’s worth with advances that often changed sides. LeBlanc opened the scoring on a power play at 19:29 of the first period with a blistering one-timer shot.

The Bearcats (23-16-3-2) got going midway through the middle period. Lucas Canning struck twice in 2:36 with his 29th and 30th goals of the campaign, at 10:10 and 12:46. Jérémy Fortin brought both teams back to square one at 14:40 with his 24th goal of the season. However, Truro regained the lead with 1:03 to go in the second on Lucas Canning’s third goal of the game (31st).

Captain Peter Amanatidis (14th) brought joy to the Jean-Daigle Centre with the equalizer at 2:16 of the third period.

After a goalless overtime clearly dominated by the Bearcats, a shootout was made necessary. Shooting first, the Bearcats saw Lucas Canning frustrated by goalkeeper Nicholas Sheehan. Jérémy Ste-Marie then beat goalkeeper Frédéric Cousineau with a fine maneuver. Merle Putnam (Bearcats) and Félix Bédard (Blizzard) were then scoreless. On the third line, Tyler Guy beat Sheehan with a backhand shot. And Dominic LeBlanc sealed the game with a shot between the goalie’s pads.

Both goalkeepers were extraordinary. Cousineau faced a barrage of 47 shots to Sheehan’s 29. Stars went to Dominic LeBlanc of the Blizzard (1st), Frédéric Cousineau of the Bearcats (2nd) and Alexis Jacques of the Blizzard (3rd).

Two new team records were set for the Blizzard. With an assist, Félix Bédard became the team’s highest single-season scorer (83 points). With his 25th win, goaltender Nicholas Sheehan eclipsed the old mark for most wins in a season, which belonged to Francis Asselin (24) in the inaugural season in 2017-2018.

The Blizzard (32-11-1-0) play their next game on Friday, February 23 (7:30 p.m.) against the West-Kent Steamers in an important matchup for first place in the Eastlink North division.

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Dominic LeBlanc played a strong game. He earned the game’s first star. Photo archives Percy Picard.

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