The veteran forward lifted the crowd at the Jean-Daigle Centre in Edmundston on Saturday night, scoring the winning goal at 10:52 of the second overtime period, giving the Edmundston Blizzard a 5-4 win over the Summerside Western Capitals.
The Blizzard takes a 3-2 lead in the best of seven EastLink North semi-final series of the Maritime Junior Hockey League. The Edmundston team will try to conclude the series Monday night in Summerside.
In the first period, Ward opened the score unassisted at 9:09, following a breakaway that ended with a spectacular goal. In the second overtime period, Ward needed playmaking from his teammates Gabriel Vanier and Liam Leonard to beat goalkeeper Dominik Tmej with a sharp wrist shot on the goalie’s blocker side.
Ahead 1-0 after 20 minutes of play, the Blizzard saw visitors hit in a nick of time in the second with goals from Chris Chaddock (16:02) and Kallum Muirhead (16:37). But only ten seconds later (16:47), Alexandre Jacob managed to tie the game 2-2. This was the last goal of the second frame.
In the third, both teams exchanged goals. Logan Johnston (4:57) gave Blizzard the lead 3-2. The Western Capitals tied the game at 13:42 on a goal from Cam Roberts. Then at 17:49, Jacob lit the red light for his second goal of the night to give Blizzard the lead. At 4-3, the Blizzard probably thought that was it for the visitors. But they fought back. The Capitals pulled out their goalie and four seconds later managed to tie with a goal by TJ Shea.
No goal was scored during the first ten-minute overtime period. And the packed crowd had to wait until the mid-overtime period to witness the outcome of this hard-fought game.
QUICK NOTES – Before the game, a moment of silence was observed in memory of the 15 members of the Saskatchewan’s Humboldt Broncos Junior A hockey team who tragically lost their lives in a road accident Friday night… The Blizzard outshot the Capitals 45-36. The local team especially hurt the Western Capitals in the first period when they outshot the visitors 14-2… Francis Asselin was the goaltender for the Blizzard. He was brilliant in overtime, blocking all 12 Capitals’ shot… Ward (1st), Jacob (2nd) and Johnston (3rd) earned the stars of the game honor.
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone