Crushing 9-1 victory for Blizzard

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – It was Justin Hébert and Félix Bédard night at the Jean-Daigle Centre on Thursday, when the Edmundston Blizzard easily defeated the Grand Falls Rapids 9-1.

The game’s first star, Hébert, scored his 8th, 9th and 10th goals of the campaign, a hat trick in a team-record 21 minutes and 11 seconds from the start of the game. The Shippagan native deflected three shots, first at 8:52 and 16:52 of the opening frame, then at 1:11 of the middle period, making it 4-0. It was Justin Hébert’s first career MHL hat trick.

Félix Bédard (2nd star) will long remember the day of January 4, 2024. After being named the MHL’s top forward for the month of December late in the morning, he received the same honor for the Blizzard before the game. To top it all off, he put in a three-goal, two-assist performance. Never in Blizzard history has a player amassed 13 points in three straight games as Bédard did (5 points on December 21st, 3 points on December 22nd and 5 points on January 4). The Saguenay forward totals 25 goals and 32 assists for 57 points in 31 games, placing him second in the MHL behind Truro’s Carter McCluskey (29g, 31a).

Jérémy Fortin (1g, 2a), Philippe Collette (1g, 2a) and Noah Matulu (1g) scored the other Blizzard goals. Ryan Loveless (3rd star, 3a) and Tim Porter (2a) also contributed to this win for the Blizzard (22-8-1-0 = 45pts), who sits three points behind the West-Kent Steamers (23-7-2-0 = 48pts), leaders of the Eastlink North division. The Blizzard has played one game less. For Simon Olivier’s team, it was their 13th consecutive game with at least a point (12-0-1-0).

Zacharie Charest denied goaltender Nicholas Sheehan a shutout by finding the back of the net on a power play at 15:02 of the third period.

The Blizzard dominated 33-26 in shots. After allowing seven goals in two periods on 25 shots, Adam Lecours was replaced by former Blizzard, Will Hodgson.

An interesting statistic is that the Bédard-Fortin-Collette line have been having the time of their lives over the last three games. With Fortin’s 10 points and Collette’s 7, the linemates now have a total of 30 points! It was the first time since January 11, 2020 in Miramichi that two Blizzard players had scored three goals in the same game. Brock McLeod and Chrystopher Collin accomplished the feat.

The Blizzard’s next two games are against teams from the other division (Eastlink South). On Saturday, they take on the Summerside Western Capitals. The following day, they will be in the Westville Road community (near New Glasgow) to play against the Pictou County Weeks Crushers. Both games start at 7 p.m.

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Shippagan forward Justin Hébert had his first three-goal game in the MHL on Thursday in Edmundston. Photo Percy Picard

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