EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Pay attention! The Edmundston Blizzard didn’t just win their first game of the season. They literally taught the Fredericton Red Wings a hockey lesson by winning 5-2 in the provincial capital on Friday night, in front of a nice crowd of 803 spectators.
Defenseman Jérémie Thibodeau was simply breathtaking! In his second game in the Blizzard uniform, the Saint-Léonard rearguard was dominant with one goal and two assists. Far beyond his statistics, it is his way of behaving that puts him a tick above the others. His great maturity acquired in the QMJHL serves him well. He moves with ease, maintains exemplary composure and is dominant on the ice. And that, the Red Wings learned bitterly on Friday night.
The Blizzard was first to score and has always been able to maintain its lead. Noah Matulu got there with his first goal of the campaign with an exceptional effort at 11:55 of the first period.
The second period saw five goals, three by the Blizzard and two by the Red Wings. Jérémie Duguay made it 2-0 early in the bout (0:34). The locals, however, replied on the power play thanks to Sasha Charbonneau at 6:35. Jérémie Thibodeau restored a two-goal lead to the Blizzard (3-1) thanks to a wrist shot from the point during a power play at 10:13. The goal by Thibodeau proved to be the winning goal. Then, at 12:37, on another five-on-four attack, Peter Amanatidis grabbed a return shot from Thibodeau to make it 4-1, at 12:37. The Red Wings hadn’t said their last word, however, when Eli Reimer cut the deficit to 4-2 at 14:27 of the middle period.
In the third, veteran Tristan Fortin clipped the local Wings on a one-timer at 10:28. He hit the mark on a nice cross pass from Thibodeau. A third power play goal in four attempts for the Blizzard. A statistic that will certainly please head coach Simon Olivier.
Alex Arsenault has collected three assists and currently ranks second in the MHL in scoring with 4 goals and 4 assists in 5 games.
Blizzard fans were expecting a great performance from one of their goalies. Simon Couroux lived up to expectations. He was very efficient. He stopped 23 of 25 shots against him to claim the win. His opponent, Mathias Savoie, faced 40 shots, confirming the Blizzard’s dominance.
Thibodeau, obviously, was named the game’s first star. The second star went to Eli Reimer (1g, 1a), of the Red Wings, and the third to Alex Arsenault (3 assists).
The Blizzard (1-4-0-0), however, should not err on the side of confidence. A victory does not make a season. They will have to focus on their next game against their North West opponents, the Grand Falls Rapids (1-1-0-0), which they will face on Sunday, October 2 at 3 p.m. in Grand Falls.
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Jérémie Thibodeau chose to return to Edmundston with the firm intention of allowing the team to win. He lived up to his words by collecting the winning goal in addition to two assists on Friday. Photo archives Percy Picard
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone