Blizzard’s dream season comes to an end

Captain Kyle Ward celebrates after scoring one of his three goals of the game in the round robin matchup against the Collège français de Longueuil. Ward was named to the all-star team at the Fred Page Cup championship. In the photo, Alexandre Jacob (22) also join the celebration under the dejected look of Longueuil’s goalkeeper Philippe Savard-Massé. Photo Naveed Sheikh

OTTAWA, Ontario – All good things have an end. The fantastic inaugural season of the Edmundston Blizzard ended on Saturday, May 5, with a loss in the semi-final of the Fred Page Cup East Canadian Championship presented in Ottawa.

The Blizzard fought a hard battle until the last period trying to extend its dream season. Unfortunately, the Collège français de Longueuil had other plans. The Quebec champions won 5-1 to reach the final on Sunday against the tournament host team and the Ontario champions, the Ottawa Junior A Senators.

The hopes for Ryan Salvis’s squad were allowed since the score was 1-0 in favour of the Collège français after 40 minutes of play.

William Lemay, Vincent Chapleau, Maxime Chagnon, William Jacques and Samuel Guilbault successively scored for Longueuil. With 40 seconds remaining in the game, Dany Coulombe avoided the shutout to the Blizzard after receiving a pass from Alexandre Jacob, two 20-year-old players who gave their last shots in junior hockey. Defenseman Alex Lavoie was chosen the player of the game on the Blizzard side.

Both teams shot 28 times each. Francis Asselin has once again made amazing saves to keep his team in the game after two periods. His counterpart, Philippe Savard-Massé, was also excellent and his save percentage climbed to 94,0%, the best of the tournament.

An honourable gesture by head coach Salvis who sent on the ice his 20-year-old players in the last minute of play: Kyle Ward, Nolan Alward, Marc Gallie, Dany Coulombe and Alexandre Jacob.

The championship’s organizers announced earlier that Ward (3 goals and 1 assist) and Coulombe (5 goals) were elected to the all-star team of the Fred Page Cup.

Since game one of the season played on September 15 in Woodstock until the very last game on May 5, there were 233 days of frenzy around the Blizzard team. The players and the staff are heading back to Edmundston on Sunday and the organization’s members will give themselves some time to draw conclusions of this phenomenal season during which an unprecedented love affair took place between the team and the fans. The team’s success had echoes, not just in the Maritimes, but also across Canada.

Many fans will have the opportunity to celebrate their heroes during a parade that will be held Tuesday evening in Edmundston (see other text).

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