EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – A real game-ending Hollywood script on Saturday night at the Jean-Daigle Centre when the Edmundston Blizzard defeated the Grand Falls Rapids, 4-3, in a shootout.
Trailing by a goal with 1:30 left in the third period, the Blizzard pulled out their goalie in favor of a sixth player. The strategy worked perfectly seconds later when rookie Joshua Nadeau scored with 1:13 to go after a twenty-foot blast wrist shot. The goal lifted the 1,411 fans from their feet and forced both teams to go into overtime with a 3-3 tie.
No goals were scored in the 5-minute overtime. And the crowd had to wait until the 6th round of the shootout to see a winner. Shooting last, head coach Emery Olauson assigned Mitchell McLeod to try do break the deadlock. The Timberlea, Nova Scotia forward took off from center ice and immediately lost control of the puck, but it kept sliding forward. McLeod skated in diagonally and beat goaltender Gio DiMattia with a shot on the glove side. A goal that raised the Jean-Daigle Centre’s roof and brought the joy of all Blizzard players who quickly gathered around McLeod.
The Blizzard owes a lot of this win to goaltender Marc-Antoine Bérubé-Jalbert, who frustrated Rapids forwards on many occasions, including six in the shootout. Bérubé-Jalbert, who deserved the star of the week goalkeeper of the MHL Eastlink North division, was rightly selected the first star of the game on Saturday. He faced 28 shots against 37 for his opponent DiMattia.
The locals were opportunistic in the opening period, taking a 2-0 lead with two power play goals coming from Isaac Chapman and Ben Lightbody.
In the second frame, the Rapids put a lot of pressure and scored two quick goals by Brandon Brazeau (at 3:28) and Tyler Boivin (at 5:12).
The visitors thought they were getting away from the Jean-Daigle Centre with the victory when Kyle Foreman (second star) gave the Rapids a 3-2 lead at 13:39 of the third period. But it was without tasting Joshua Nadeau’s medicine afterwards at 18:47.
With two assists, Zachary Cadorette was awarded the second star.
Blizzard and Rapids will clash again on Saturday, November 14 (7:30 pm) at the Jean-Daigle Centre.
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Marc-Antoine Bérubé-Jalbert had a solid game Saturday night for the Blizzard. On this sequence he makes a spectacular save during the shootout. Photo Percy Picard
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, Edmundston Blizzard vice-president communications; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone