EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – They conceded a lot of pounds to their tough opponents but the Edmundston Blizzard players were tenacious from start to finish to turn things around and defeat the mighty Summerside Western Capitals 5-2 on Friday night at the Jean-Daigle Centre in a game of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League played in front of 2,575 enthusiastic fans.
Visitors imposed their rhythm in the first half ot the first period. The 6-foot-6 giant Kallum Muirhead opened the scoring for the Western Capitals at 8:32 following a two-on-one. Emery Olauson’s squad responded well afterwards by multiplying the attacks. The first 20 minutes, however, ended in a 1-0 lead in favor of the islanders.
In the second frame, everything changed. The Blizzard hit in a nick of time with two goals in 1 minute and 33 seconds. Aaron Brown tied the game at 4:18, and Isaac Chapman made it 2-1 93 seconds later, spreading joy in the local crowd.
Ahead 2-1 to start the third, Tommy Bertrand scored that was to be the winning goal at 6:14 after a shot from the point. But a little more than two minutes later, the Capitals narrowed the gap to a goal thanks to Bennett MacArthur left alone in the crease besides goalie Ewan MacDonald.
The Western Capitals then regained momentum, firing 20 shots against the Blizzard net in the final period. But Chad Wilson completed a superb maneuver to score at 17:07. Chapman ended his evening with a second goal in an empty net to close the debate at 5-2.
Captain Tristan Gagnon, who was self-sacrificing throughout the game by throwing himself in front of the opposing shots and contributing offensively, earned the first star of the game. He had two assists. With two goals, Chapman piced up the third star. Capitals Muirhead earned the second star.
Goalkeeper MacDonald was brilliant in front of the Blizzard’s net. He was rocked solid, especially during repeated assaults in the third by the Capitals. MacDonald repelled 30 of 32 shots he received. His counterpart, Dominik Tmej, was beaten four times on 35 shots. The 36th shot ended in an empty net.
The Blizzard will play a second game in 24 hours on Saturday (8 pm) when the team visits the Miramichi Timberwolves.
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Tristan Gagnon left a ton of energy on the ice of the Jean-Daigle Centre on Friday against Summerside to lead the Blizzard to a 5-2 win over the Western Capitals. (Photo archives Digiphoto)
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, Edmundston Blizzard vice-president communications; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone