EDMUNDSTON – Guided by a three goal performance from Gabriel Vanier, the Edmundston Blizzard came back into the win column Saturday night, defeating the Grand Falls Rapids by a score of 6-1 in front of 2800 spectators assembled at the Jean-Daigle Centre.
Gabriel Vanier opened the scoring for the home team after the Blizzard won a faceoff in the Rapids’ zone. It was Vanier’s 7th tally of the season while newcomer Sam King picked up his first assist for Edmundston.
The Blizzard added a second goal at 9:27 when on a two on one break, Vincent Rioux opted for a shot that beat goalie Andrew Rose.
The Rapids, who were physically aggressive and very intense in the opposing zone in those first twenty minutes of play, cashed in on a power play at 16:48 to reduce the margin to only one goal. Dawson Wood tipped in the shot from the point by defenseman Kyle Anderson as the Rapids were quickly back in the game.
Grand Falls dominated in shots on goal in the period, 11 to 10.
The Blizzard came out strong in the middle frame, scoring twice in a span of 1:28. Gabriel Vanier, with his second of the contest, brought the lead to 3-1 after his backhand shot found the back of the net at 1:08. Then at 2:28, it was Logan Johnston’s turn to score on the backhand following a rebound in front of the net.
After that fourth goal, Nolan Boyd replaced Andrew Rose between the pipes for the visitors.
The Rapids thought they had scored in the waning minutes of the period when Matthew Mackay’s shot seemed to slide behind Edmundston goalie Francis Asselin, but the goal was disallowed. Moments later, the Blizzard added a fifth goal on Vincent Rioux’s second of the game.
Only one goal was scored in the third period, the third one by Gabriel Vanier with less than a minute remaining.
The Rapids shot 12 times on goal in the final frame but the final tally for the game was tied at 30-30.
Vincent Rioux, with 2 goals and 1 assist, also had a strong game offensively for the Blizzard. In his first game with his new team, Sam King had two assists to his credit.
The Rapids, who now have a record of 3 wins and 3 losses for the season, will play their next two games in Nova Scotia at the MHL Showcase. Monday night at 7pm, they will play the Pictou County Weeks Crushers while on Tuesday afternoon at 1pm, their opponents will be the Yarmouth Mariners. Those two games will be played at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
Source: Patrick Thibault (Grand Falls Rapids)
1st period :
EDM- Gabriel Vanier (7) (Justin Lush; Sam King) 5 :22
EDM- Vincent Rioux (1) (Gavynn Carter) 9:27
GFR- Dawson Wood (3) (Kyle Anderson; Mackenzie Mindus) 16 :48 (PP)
2nd period :
EDM- Gabriel Vanier (8) (Sam King) 1 :08
EDM- Logan Johnston (4) (Keenan Gillis; Aaron Brown) 2 :28
EDM- Vincent Rioux (2) (Logan Johnston; Tristan Mercure) 18 :41
3rd period :
EDM- Gabriel Vanier (9) (Vincent Rioux) 19 :03