EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Goalkeeper Raphaël Audet offered quite a performance, perhaps the best achieved by an Edmundston Blizzard goaltender, Saturday night at the Jean-Daigle Centre despite a 5-4 shootout loss against the Summerside Western Capitals.
The Islanders were up to their reputation as the second-best ranked team in the country. They outshot the Blizzard 57-27. The Blizzard had never given an opponent more than 45 shots in a game in their five-year history. The Western Capitals hit like a steamroller the entire game and Audet gave them a hard time all night.
After the Capitals took the lead in the first minute, the Blizzard capitalized on their rare scoring chances to take a 2-1 lead early in the second period in front of the loudest crowd of the season at the Jean-Daigle Centre. Then, the visitors scored two straight power-play goals and a third as another Blizzard penalty had just ended.
Aaron Brown, Max-Antoine Melançon and Colby MacArthur (twice) put the puck past Audet.
While the score was 4-2 in favor of the Capitals in the third period, the Blizzard started its comeback, thanks to Austin Paul, with his second goal of the night, at 11:05, then Noah Gibbs, at 19:15 on the powerplay while goalkeeper Audet had been pulled out in favor of a sixth player. Gibbs’s goal lifted the crowd to such an extent that it felt like the 2018 playoffs, the year the Blizzard won the league championship. Alex Savoie scored the other Blizzard goal in the first period.
Paul (2g), Gibbs (1g, 1a), Ethan Johnson (2a) and Tristan Therrien (2a) were the best on offense for the Blizzard.
During the shootout, it was Thomas Lacombe who made the difference with a goal in the 4th round.
The same two teams will clash on Sunday, November 14 at the Jean-Daigle Centre (3 p.m.). The Western Capitals are now 13-1-0-1 and lead the Blizzard (9-2-1-1) by 7 points atop the standings in the Eastlink North division of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.
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Raphaël Audet made many spectacular stops throughout the evening. He blocked 52 of the 56 shots he faced. Photo Percy Picard
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone