Blizzard retakes first place in the Nord division

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The same result from one Friday to the next between the Grand Falls Rapids and the Edmundston Blizzard. The Blizzard won by the same score of 6-3 on Friday night, this time in front of the biggest crowd of the season (2,582 spectators) at the Jean-Daigle Centre.

Led once again by Félix Bédard, who picked up an assist on each of the first three goals, the Blizzard extended their winning streak to six games. Simon Olivier’s men now lead the West Kent Steamers by one point, who suffered a 6-3 loss on Friday against Pictou County.

The Blizzard (28-9-1-0) have 57 points to the Steamers’ 56, with a game in hand for Edmundston. The Blizzard is on a hot streak of 18 wins, one regulation-time loss and one overtime defeat in its last 20 games.

Noah Matulu and Jérémy Fortin each collected a goal and an assist in Friday’s win. Defensemen Mathieu Boucher and Alexis Jacques and forwards Philippe Collette and Ben Wallace (game-winner) also found the back of the Rapids net, protected by Will Hodgson who faced 29 shots. Anastasios Lazaris collected two assists.

The Rapids (9-25-0-3) scored a goal in each period against goaltender Nicholas Sheehan, who turned aside 21 pucks. Damian Metastasio, Cole MacWilliam and Nicholas Brennan beat the Blizzard goaltender, who recorded his MHL-high 22nd win of the season.

The bout was tight until midway through the third period. The two teams were neck-and-neck 1-1 after the 1st period. Edmundston took a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play. The score was 4-3 in favor of the Blizzard when defenseman Alexis Jacques scored the insurance goal at 13:31 of the third frame. Jacques tied a team record for a defenseman with his 8th goal of the season, a mark he shares with Tim Porter, who set it last year.

Bédard (1st), Fortin (2nd) and Jacques (3rd) were named the game’s stars.

The Blizzard have 14 games left in their season. Their magic number for securing a playoff spot is three. The Blizzard have 30 points more than the fifth place Campbellton Tigers (13-22-1-0), who have 16 games left in their season.

The Blizzard face the Rapids for the third time in a row next Wednesday in Grand Falls (7 p.m.).

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Alexis Jacques (55) tied the team record for a defenseman with his 8th goal of the campaign. Photo Percy Picard

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