Despite repeated attacks by the Blizzard, Wildcats rookie goaltender Cole McLaren was solid as a rock. Valley’s TV commentator even said at the end of the game that it was “the Wildcats’ most important victory in two years”. Valley (13-17-1-1 = 28 pts) battles with the Truro Bearcats (14-14-0-1 = 29 pts) for a playoff spot in the EastLink South Division of the Maritime Junior Hockey League. Note that Truro played Sunday night in Summerside.
The score of the Blizzard-Wildcats game does not indicate the pace of the game. Edmundston’s squad led 43-26 in shots. The Blizzard hit at least three posts and missed great opportunities in the pay zone. But it was McLaren, an 8th-round pick of the Halifax Mooseheads in the 2016 draft, who stole the show.
Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Blizzard had a great chance to narrow the gap on a 32 seconds two-man power play midway through the middle period. Then, Edmundston couldn’t put the puck behind McLaren on a four-minute power play early in the third period.
Brock McLeod (1:18) and Drew Packman (15:27) beat goalkeeper Myles Hektor in the first period. Packman secured the win win an empty net goal at 17:45 of the final period.
This loss was the Blizzard’s first in regulation time since its 5-1 defeat at home against the Campbellton Tigers on November 26. The Tigers will be the next visitors to the Jean-Daigle Centre in Edmundston next Wednesday at 7:30 pm.
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone