Tigers eliminate the Blizzard

CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard season is over. The Campbellton Tigers defeated easily the Blizzard 5-0 on Saturday night at the Memorial Civic Centre to eliminate the Blizzard in five games (4-1) in the Canadian Tire Cup MHL Eastlink North Division semi-final.

Tristan Gray recorded a second straight shutout at the Campbellton rink. He had an easy game, facing only 18 Blizzard shots, most from outside the slot. Francis Asselin, without a doubt the best Blizzard player in this series, made 31 saves on 36 shots.

Coleton Perry, Pierre-Luc Lurette, Kyle Petten, Dawson Stairs and Drew Toner scored back-to-back goals for the Tigers who will face the powerful Summerside Western Capitals in the division final. Summerside, unsurprisingly, swept the St. Stephen Aces in four games. The Campbellton-Summerside series promises to be exciting.

The Blizard won the first game of the series in double overtime. Curiously, it was the only lead in a game for the Edmundston team. In the other four games, the Tigers have always taken the lead. Campbellton’s impenetrable defense had the last say against the Blizzard attack, which relied on its veterans to revive the team.

Some statistics clearly give the advantage to the Tigers. In five games, they shot 187 times (average of 37.4 per game) against 134 for the Blizzard (average of 26.8). The special units hurt the Blizzard, who only had one power play goal on 19 attempts. The Tigers scored four times in 24 occasions.

Saturday’s game was the last in the junior level for five Blizzard players, goalie Francis Asselin and forward Malcolm Arseneau, Sam King, Logan Johnston and Gabriel Vanier. Edmundston will have to replace its three best scorers this season and will lose its top goalkeeper, considered one of the best in the league.

In the coming days, Blizzard’s management and coaching staff will get back at work to prepare for the Maritime Hockey League draft in Edmundston in June.

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Blizzard’s Gabriel Vanier stands close to goaltender Tristan Gray while defenseman Francis Thibeault (21) watches the action closely. Photo Olivier Chiasson

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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell