EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Thomas Boucher stood up as he has done all season and turned aside 25 shots as the Edmundston Blizzard won the first battle of the best-of-seven final series of the Eastlink North Division of the Metalfab MHL Cup against the Summerside Western Capitals.
Thanks to a strong team effort, the Blizzard triumphed 2-1 in front of a loud and enthusiastic crowd at the Jean-Daigle Centre on Wednesday night.
After a scoreless first period completely dominated by the Blizzard (18-6 in shots), Philippe Collette, with his sixth of the playoffs, found the back of the net on the power play at 2:53 of the second period following exceptional passes from Tristan Fortin and Jérémy Duguay.
Patrick LeBlanc (3rd of the playoffs) gave the Blizzard a 2-0 lead after a brilliant play by captain Mitchell McLeod at 9:29 of the third period. Silenced on the power play, the Western Capitals finally managed to get on the scoreboard with the one-man advantage at 11:41 with Trentyn Crane’s 3rd goal of the series.
The Blizzard unleashed 35 shots on goaltender Chad Arsenault. Boucher had to step up on several occasions to make key saves. In particular, he avoided giving away rebounds to an opposing offense with important tools.
Not surprisingly, Boucher earned the game’s first star. With his energetic play, forward Marco Martin earned the second while defenseman Jesse Chamberlain earned the third.
The two teams will meet again on Thursday, April 6 at the Jean-Daigle Centre (7:30 p.m.). Games 3 and 4 will be played in Summerside on Sunday and Monday.
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Goalie Thomas Boucher frustrates Western Capitals star player Trentyn Crane on a breakaway in the first period. Boucher was named the first star of Wednesday’s game. Photo Percy Picard
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone