EDMUNDSTON, N.B. – The Edmundston Blizzard started their three-game weekend against regional rivals with a difficult 2-1 win over the Grand Falls Rapids on Friday night at the Jean-Daigle Centre.
After a quiet first period, without penalties, without goals and without too much emotion, the next twenty minutes were more interesting. The Rapids opened the scoring at 6:35 through defenseman Zac Arsenault (5th) who joined the offensive rush at the right time.
The Blizzard players showed more teeth in the second, but couldn’t break through the wall of Gio DiMattia, who was very solid and visibly confident.
The Blizzard’s repeated offensive plays, however, paid dividends in the third frame. Rookie Mathieu Pelletier (5th) scored one of the nicest goals at the Jean-Daigle Centre this season, lifting the puck over DiMattia’s shoulder at 2:32 to tie the game 1 to 1. In the last minutes in the third period, Mitchell McLeod converted a superb pass from Jérémy Duguay to score the winning goal at 16:24.
Raphaël Audet was very effective in front of the Blizzard goal, pushing back 24 shots. He was able to avoid rebounds throughout the game, while covering his angles well. The number 31 could certainly have deserved one of the three stars of the meeting which went to Pelletier (1st), McLeod (2nd) and DiMattia (3rd). Rapids’ goalie faced 33 shots.
Edmundston (13-5-1-1 = 28pts) remains second in the Eastlink North Division with a two-point lead over its closest pursuers, the Fredericton Red Wings (12-6-2-0 = 26pts) and the Campbellton Tigers (11-6-3-1 = 26pts).
The Blizzard will host the Tigers on Saturday night (7:30 p.m.) and visit Fredericton on Sunday (2 p.m.).
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Series of photos showing the first Blizzard goal scored by Mathieu Pelletier (10). Photos Percy Picard
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone