MIRAMICHI, New Brunswick – Philippe Collette gave himself the best 18th birthday present of all Tuesday night in Miramichi when he single-handedly ripped the Timberwolves to shreds in a 5-1 win at the Miramichi Civic Centre. If Collette made a wish before blowing out his candles, it was that his team would win. And to top it off, he finished the night with two goals and two assists!
The Blizzard eliminated the Timberwolves in six games (4-2) in this best-of-seven semi-final series of the Eastlink North Division of the MHL Metalfab Cup. The Blizzard players now await their next opponent in the division final. The other series is dominated 3-2 by the Campbellton Tigers against the Summerside Western Capitals. The Tigers will try to knock off the Capitals on Wednesday night in Campbellton.
The Blizzard players completely dominated Tuesday’s game, shutting down any offensive attempts from the high-powered Timberwolves offense. Miramichi’s formidable power play unit never even threatened, a sign that head coach Simon Olivier had prepared his players well for this pivotal game.
Collette silenced the crowd of over 2,000 with a goal in the 50th second. A few minutes later, he hit the post and Jérémy Duguay took the loose puck and lodged it into an empty net. At 5:46, the “blizzard” had already blown in and the Timberwolves were completely bottled up for the entire game.
In the second period, Philippe Collette added a third goal for the Blizzard, at 2:31, which allowed Edmundston’s numerous fans, both at the arena and online, to breathe and think about the elimination.
In the third period, Evan Gass delivered the fatal shot at 13:14 with a nice move beating goalie Ryan Knight. The Blizzard took a 4-0 lead.
After his victory on Sunday, Samuel LeBlanc was the man Simon Olivier trusted to start the game in front of the Blizzard cage. And the young man from Memramcook shone brightly. He lost his shutout with 5:17 left in the game when Travis Badcock beat him. Tristan Fortin put the final nail in the coffin for the Timberwolves when he scored on a pass from Philippe Collette in an empty net.
The Blizzard led 37-27 in shots.
Collette (1st), Duguay (2nd) and Samuel LeBlanc (3rd) were named the stars of the game.
The Blizzard has eliminated an opponent for the first time since winning the 2018 Maritime Championship. Edmundston lost in the first round the following year against Campbellton and against Summerside last spring. The Blizzard did not participate in the 2020 and 2021 series due to the pandemic.
– 30 –
Philippe Collette was the star of Tuesday’s game with four points. Photo Percy Picard
– 30 –
Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone