FREDERICTON, New Brunswick – An important win thanks in large part to Jérémy Fortin and Samuel LeBlanc in Fredericton, Sunday afternoon. However, it took a shootout for the Edmundston Blizzard to defeat the Red Wings, 4-3.
Jérémy Fortin (1st star) broke the back of the Red Wings in the first two minutes of play in the second period with consecutive goals (at 0:34 and 2:14) during a five-minute power play. For the Rivière-du-Loup forward, it was his first two-goal game in the Blizzard uniform.
Olivier Coulombe, who was literally everywhere on the ice, scored the first goal for the Blizzard in the first period. Coulombe thus became the record holder for the most consecutive games with at least one point (16) with the Blizzard.
After 65 minutes of play, the score remained tied at 3 apiece. In the shootout, the three players delegated by coach Simon Olivier scored, namely Tristan Fortin, Patrick LeBlanc and Olivier Coulombe who all opted for a wrist shot. It was the first time in the history of the franchise in Edmundston that the three Blizzard players scored in such a situation.
Samuel LeBlanc defended the Blizzard cage for the first time since November 19. He had a great game and robbed the Red Wings of a win, including a two-man breakaway against him in overtime. The Memramcook goaltender was masterful on this sequence, just as he was earlier in the match by frustrating ace scorer Slava Melikov on a breakaway.
Xzander Pierce (2nd star), Noah Standing and Manix Sarrasin found the back of the net for the Red Wings (11-16-1-1) who can thank their goaltender Mathias Savoie (3rd star) who frustrated the Blizzard players on many occasions.
The Blizzard outshot the Red Wings 42-27.
The race atop the North Eastlink division has never been closer at this point in the season. Summerside, Campbellton and Edmundston total 39 points each. However, Summerside played 28 games against 30 for Campbellton and 31 for Edmundston.
The Blizzard (19-11-0-1) will play its next game, Thursday, January 12, at 7:30 p.m., hosting the Grand Falls Rapids (14-14-0-0).
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Jérémy Fortin and Samuel LeBlanc offered stellar performances for the Blizzard on Sunday. (Photo archives Percy Picard)
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone