Fred Page Cup: Blizzard against the best teams in Eastern Canada

Exactly one week after winning the Maritime Junior A Hockey League championship, the Blizzard left on a chartered bus for Ottawa this morning (Tuesday) to take part in the Fred Page Cup tournament. Photo archives Digiphoto

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Now that the Maritime Championship has been digested, the Edmundston Blizzard is now in the race to capture the Fred Page Cup, the trophy awarded to the best junior A hockey team in Eastern Canada.

From May 2 to May 6, four teams from three leagues will compete in Ottawa: Blizzard (Maritime Champion – MHL), Collège française de Longueuil (Quebec champion – LHJAAAQ), Ottawa Jr. A Senators (Central Canada champions – CCHL and hos team) and Carleton Place Canadians (Central Canada finalists – CCHL). Only one team will be crowned and continue its march to the Canadian Championship (RBC Cup) to be held May 12-20.

It’s hard to predict anything in the nation’s capital. The four teams do not know each other since they have evolved only in their leagues. The only point of reference is the Canadian standings produced weekly by the Canadian Junior Hockey League. But this information can be misleading. According to this ranking, Carleton Place (53 W, 5 L, 1 OTL) is second in the country, Ottawa 7th(46 W, 9 L, 2 OTL), Longueuil 15th(38 W, 8 L, 3 OTL) and Edmundston 19th(36 W, 10 L, 4 OTL).

The Blizzard’s players, who left Edmundston Tuesday morning, will have to roll up their sleeves because adversity will not be a small task to ward off. All other teams are champions as they are.

“We will be going there trying to play the exact same game that’s been working for us lately. We will make a few adjustments when needed but for now we will focus on what works for us. Our goal right now is to be playing on the weekend and will need our best to get there but the boys are excited to get things started,” explained Blizzard’s head coach Ryan Salvis.

Each team will play three games each in the round robin. They will play one game each day (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). The top team in the standings will earn a bye for Sunday’s final. Second and third place teams will face each other in Saturday’s semifinal. The fourth-ranked team will leave empty-handed but with the tournament’s experience and a full notebook.

Here is the schedule for the Blizzard (games are played at local times):
Wednesday, May 2, 7 :30 pm, Edmundston against Ottawa
Thursday, May 3, 3:30 pm, Longueuil against Edmundston
Friday, May 4, 3:30 pm, Edmundston against Carleton Place

Defenseman Alexandre Bernier will be absent for personal reasons and will not be in the Blizzard’s lineup at this tournament.

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