EDMUNDSTON, N.B. – Hockey’s return to Edmundston was greeted by an exceptional performance from Noah Matulu and the young local players who paved the way to a 6-5 victory for the Edmundston Blizzard over the Grand Falls Rapids on Saturday night at the Jean-Daigle Centre. It was the first in a six-game preseason series for Emery Olauson’s squad.
First star of the game, Matulu finished the evening with a two-goal and one assist performance. Three players from the Northwest, Jacob Long (Edmundston), Noah Gibbs (Edmundston) and Mathieu Pelletier, 3rd star (Saint-Jacques) also found the back of the net just like Peter Amanatidis who scored the Blizzard’s first goal.
Olivier Nadeau (Edmundston), Colby Morin (Saint-Léonard) and Brendan Sibley also displayed their offensive skills with two assists each.
The second star of the game, Bryce Thompson, registered one goal and two assists for the Rapids. Other goals for the visitors came from Carson Rideout (1g, 1p), Jean-Rémy LeBlanc and Angelo Fullerton. Shane Delaney and Alexi Cournoyer also did well with two assists each.
Matthew Parker of Edmundston was the starting goalkeeper for the Blizzard. His team was leading 4-3 when he was replaced by Samuel LeBlanc midway into the second period. Parker made 12 saves on 15 shots, while LeBlanc blocked 10 of the 12 shots he faced.
Goalies Noah Visser and Alex Myatt also shared the task in goal for the Rapids.
The Blizzard led 36-27 in shots on goal.
The two teams had a blowout first period. Rapids and Blizzard scored back-to-back goals to retreat to the locker room with a 3-3 tie. Halfway through the second period, the Blizzard made it 4-3 and they forged a 6-3 lead early in the third period.
Coach Emery Olauson made a nice move that pleased Blizzard fans. Of the seven local players in uniform, six were on the starting lineup.
Grand Falls and Edmundston meet again this evening (Sunday) at 7:30 p.m. at the E.-et-P.-Sénéchal Centre.
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Mathieu Pelletier of Saint-Jacques celebrates his second-period goal that gavec the Blizzard the lead for the first time. (Photo Percy Picard)
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Source: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone