EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – For a second straight game, the Grand Falls Rapids have the final say in shootout against the Edmundston Blizzard. Wednesday night, in front of 1,446 spectators at the Jean-Daigle Centre in Edmundston, they won 4-3 after avoiding a loss in the final minute of the third period.
Trailing 3-2, the Rapids pulled out their goalie and the strategy paid off as Nash Smith tied the game with 36 seconds left in regulation. Neither team managed to score in overtime. Tyler Boivin of the Rapids sealed the outcome of the shootout.
In the last game between those two Northwest rivals, on December 4 in Grand Falls, the Rapids also won in shootout (3-2).
On Wednesday, the Blizzard struck first in the game thanks to Kevin Desjardins’ goal at 7:40 of the opening period. The Rapids, however, tied the game with 17 seconds to play in the period on a goal by Drew Toner.
The Rapids clearly dominated the second period which ended with the only goal, that of Evan Jackson at 12:32.
The Blizzard recovered in the third. A spectacular surge by Joshua Nadeau (2nd star) with a man advantage allowed the locals to tie the game 2-2 at 7:39. Four minutes later (11:49) during another power play, Jérémy Duguay gave Edmundston a 3-2 lead. The Blizzard thought they were flying away with the victory but the Rapids never gave up and ended up getting away with the two precious points in the shootout.
Goaltenders Nolan Boyd, of the Rapids (1st star, 31 saves), and Antoine Lyonnais, of the Blizzard (34 saves), stood up strong and contributed to keep the game at a low score. With two assists, defenseman Ben Lightbody earned the game’s third star.
The attention was of course focused on top scorers Tyler Boivin (2a) and Joshua Nadeau (1g, 1a). The spectators were served at will by these two talented players. Nadeau extended his streak with at least a point to 10 games. Teammate Zachary Cadorette saw his end at 10 games.
The Blizzard will play its next two games to start the new year at the Jean-Daigle Centre. On Saturday, January 2nd, Edmundston will host the Fredericton Red Wings (7:30 pm). The next day, the Rapids will be the visitors (3 pm).
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Goalkeeper Nolan Boyd pushes away another shot taken by the Edmundston Blizzard. He earned the game’s first star. Photo Percy Picard
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, Edmundston Blizzard vice-president communications; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone