Blizzard wins trench warfare

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard claimed victory in a game that had the makings of a playoff match.

Led by goals from Jérémy Fortin (25th), Ben Wallace (6th and 7th) and Peter Amanatidis (15th, game-winner), the Blizzard prevailed 4-3 over the West Kent Steamers in front of the largest crowd of the season at the Jean-Daigle Centre on Friday night.

The 2,771 spectators were treated to an exceptional performance by the two teams battling for first place in the MHL’s Eastlink North division. It wasn’t the top elements who stole the show on Friday night. It was the support players from both teams who really stood out in this tight contest.

After taking an early lead (1:32 into the first period), the Steamers struck back through Owen Underhill (7th, 16:23).

In the second, West Kent took a 2-1 lead at 3:48 thanks to Bailey Shortall’s 5th goal of the season (2nd star). In a two-on-one situation, Ben Wallace (1st star) chose to shoot between the pads of goalie Xavier Fisk at 11:28.

Taking advantage of a power play to start the third period, Wallace deflected a shot past Fisk to give the Blizzard a 3-2 lead at 1:47. Matthew MacDonald (6th) tied the score 3-3 at 15:10 with a fine goal past goaltender Nicholas Sheehan. Then, at 16:53, captain Peter Amanatidis (3rd star) brought the crowd to its feet with a beautiful breakthrough to goalie Fisk, whom he beat with a partially saved shot.

The Blizzard dominated 38-30 in the shots column. Both goalkeepers made outstanding saves on several occasions.

This valuable win allows the Blizzard (33-11-1-0) to take a five-point lead on the Steamers (30-14-2-0) with a game in hand.

Edmundston’s next game is on Saturday (7 p.m.) in Fredericton against the Red Wings. Fredericton (19-22-2-3) needs just two points to ensure its participation in the end-of-season playoffs.

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Ben Wallace (44) had his best game since joining the Blizzard. The forward from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia scored two goals. Photo Percy Picard

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