Blizzard tops Tigers 6-3

Dany Coulombe begins his celebration after beating Tigers’ goalkeeper on a breakaway in the third period. Coulombe scored a goal in his first MHL game. In the background, linemate Gabriel Vanier cheering on. Coulombe and Vanier’s line was completed by centerman Liam Leonard. Photo Digiphoto

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Successful homecoming for the Edmundston Blizzard, who defeated the Campbellton Tigers 6-3 in a Maritime Junior Hockey League game played Wednesday night in front of 1,714 spectators gathered at the Jean-Daigle Centre.

The Blizzard was able to build a 3-0 lead midway through the game but had to resist the repeated assaults of the visitors who never let go.

Forward Dany Coulombe made his debut with the Blizzard and he showed his scoring touch with a spectacular goal on a breakaway at 6:43 of the last period. He cut a pass just inside the Tigers’s zone and went straight to the net to beat goalkeeper Greg Maggio with a sharp wrist shot on the blocker’s side. Coulombe got his revenged on Maggio who had stopped him during another breakaway during the second period. Coulombe’s goal gave a 4-2 lead to the locals and proved to be the winner.

It had been a long time since the Kyle Ward-Alexandre Jacob-Logan Johnston line was reunited. They did not take long to get going. Jacob completed a great play from Ward and Johnston to open the score at 6:17 of the first period.

Johnston took control in the second with two power play goals at 3:49 and 8:21. With a three-goal deficit, the Tigers came back to life thanks to Pierre-Luc Lurette’s blistering slap shot from the blue line in the upper part of the net at 15:34 that left no chance for goalkeeper Myles Hektor.

The Tigers started the third by closing the score to 3-2. Pascal Valcourt, of Saint-Quentin, deflected a shot to narrow the gap to one goal at 3:52. Coulombe restored the two-goal lead for the Blizzard before seeing Tommy Gallaghan make it 4-3 on another deflected shot at 8:21. Jeff Akerley scored the insurance goal on a strange move by goalie Maggio who ventured too far from his net. Akerley took advantage of Maggio’s lack of judgment to shoot behind him from a very thin angle. The score was 5-3 in Blizzard’s favour with just overt six minutes left in the game.

The Tigers pulled out their goalkeeper but Alexandre Bernier closed the books with an empty netter at 18:30.

QUICK NOTES – The Tigers led 27-22 in the shots on goal column… Logan Johnston, with two goals and one assist, earned the first star, Alexandre Bernier (1 goal, 2 assists) the second, and Dany Coulombe (1 goal) the third… The Blizzard recorded its 24th win of the season in 32 games. Its 51 points are 16 more than the Summerside Western Capitals, their closest rivals in the EastLink North division… The magic number for the Blizzard to guarantee its participation in the playoffs is 8. Last year, the fourth team of the northern division to qualify for the series had collected 41 points… The Blizzard will host the Miramichi Timberwolves Friday (7:30 pm) and the South Shore Lumberjacks Sunday (3 pm)… Crowds exceeding 2,000 spectators at the Jean-Daigle Centre are expected for both weekend meetings. The game on Friday should be sold out.

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