Convincing win : Blizzard reaches the MHL finals!

Blizzard players pose proudly with the EastLink North trophy presented to the division’s champion team. Playing in front of a 14th full house in a row, the Blizzard was energized by the most noisy and cheerful crowd of the season. Photo Digiphoto

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard beat the Summerside Western Capitals to their own game: the offense. And it was quite a demonstration of Ryan Salvis’ squad who registered a convincing 8-3 win on Wednesday night at the Jean-Daigle Centre in Edmundston to grab the Maritime Hockey League (MHL) EastLink North division’s championiship trophy.

Blizzard won the hard-fought series 4-3. Edmundston will now clash against the Yarmouth Mariners in the MHL grand final. The Mariners are more rested, having eliminated the South Shore Lumberjacks in five games. The schedule for the final series, which will start in Edmundston, will be announced shortly.

Kyle Ward was everywhere on the ice, recording two goals and two assists, including the game winning goal in the second period.

As usual in this series, the Blizzard swept through enemy territory throughout the first period. Ward (5:38) gave the hosts a 1-0 lead. Then, the defense of both teams committed big mistakes leading to two goals. Brodie MacArthur (12:07) while his team was playing shorthanded tied the score, but Maxime Grandmaison (15;47) restored the Blizzard’s lead.

In the second period, the Blizzard hit the Western Capitals hard. Grandmaison (5:53) and Ward (7:12) scored their second goal each propelling the Blizzard forward 4-1. In the last four minutes of the frame, the two teams traded four goals. Jordan Spence (Summerside, 15:49), Dany Coulombe (Edmundston, 17:36), TJ Shea (Summerside, 18:22) and Keenan Gillis (Edmundston, 19:11) all scored in a short span of time. The Blizzard entered its dressing room with a 6-3 lead.

Knowing the powerful Western Capitals offensive machine (the best in the league), the Blizzard could not take anything for granted and be wary of the Summerside forwards.

In the third, Pierre Bourgoin scored to make it 7-3 at 2:13, allowing the team to breather more confortably. The Capitals tried to get back on track with 11 minutes to go by removing their goalkeeper in favour of a sixth player. But the Blizzard closed the door. At 17:14, Alexandre Bernier confirmed the victory with an empty-net goal.

The Blizzard fired 33 shots against the two Capitals goaltenders, Alex Bishop (starting goalie) and Dominik Tmej. The Capitals had 23 shots against Francis Asselin. Summerside’ head coach Billy McGuigan tried to shake his team by changing his goalie after the Blizzard took a 3-1 lead. But it did not produce any effect.

Ward (1st), Grandmaison (2nd) and Shea (3rd) were chose the three stars of the game.

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