GRAND FALLS, New Brunswick – Marco Martin found the back of the net with 47 seconds left in the third period, paving the way to a 3-2 win for the Edmundston Blizzard and a fourth straight triumph, Sunday afternoon in Grand Falls against the Rapids.
Noah Matulu prepared the play from his defensive zone giving the puck to Colby Morin who then passed it to Marco Martin on the Blizzard blue line. First pick in the last MHL draft, Martin then carried the puck to the other end, masterfully outsmarting an opposing defenseman to beat goaltender Frédéric Plourde with a quick low wrist shot on the glove side.
The match-up, played in front of 854 fans at the E. & P. Sénéchal Center was hotly contested. Peter Amanatidis scored his sixth goal of the season, a Blizzard high, at 10:53 of the first period. The Rapids replied at 15:38 on Evan Bellamy’s goal. The first period ended tied at 1-1.
In the second period, the two teams again exchanged a goal. This time, the Rapids struck first through Ben Diamond at 1:27. Less than two minutes later, at 3:22, Mathieu Pelletier tied the game.
Starting goaltender Simon Couroux left the game at 7:37 of the second period. He was visibly bothered by back discomfort in the minutes prior to his withdrawal. Samuel LeBlanc replaced him brilliantly to block all 12 shots he faced to claim his first Maritime Junior Hockey League win. Couroux received 18 shots.
Pelletier (1st; 1g, 1a), Diamond (2nd; 1g, 1a) and Amanatidis (3rd; 1g, 1a) were named the stars of the game.
A curious start to the season for the Blizzard which, after suffering four losses in a row, has just turned back the clock with a fourth consecutive victory. At 4-4-0-0, the Blizzard remains third in the East Division, one point behind the Miramichi Timberwolves (4-1-1-0) and two points behind the Summerside Western Capitals (5 -0-0-0).
The Blizzard is now gearing up for its first three-game weekend of the season. Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (7:30 p.m.), they will host, back-to-back, the Miramichi Timberwolves and the Yarmouth Mariners. Sunday (3 p.m.) they will visit the Campbellton Tigers.
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Marco Martin (93) reacts after scoring the winning goal Sunday afternoon in Grand Falls. He is joined by his former Moncton Flyers teammate (midget AAA), Noah Matulu. Photo Percy Picard
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone