EDMUNDSTON – The Edmundston Blizzard won their 11th consecutive game Saturday night on home ice, shutting out the Grand Falls Rapids by a score of 5-0 with 2398 spectators in attendance at the Jean-Daigle Centre.
It was the Rapids’ third consecutive loss, leaving them with a record of 14 wins and 11 losses for 28 points. They still hold 4th spot in the Eastlink North division standings, 4 points ahead of the Miramichi Timberwolves.
As it was the case last Sunday at the E.&P. Sénechal Centre, the Blizzard outskated their opponents while playing a very tight defensive game. Dominic Leblanc and Yannic Bastarache, the Rapids’ leading scorers, were once again neutralized by the Blizzard players as soon as they were in possession of the puck, leaving them with very little chance to prepare any sustained offense. Grand Falls did have some opportunities on the power play, but they were unable to beat goaltender Thomas Boucher who won his 10th game in a row between the pipes while registering his 2nd shutout since his arrival in Edmundston.
Defenseman Tim Porter got the Blizzard on the board at 7:33 of the opening period with a shot on the glove side of Rapids netminder Frédéric Plourde who was making a second consecutive start in net.
Plourde faced 15 shots in the first twenty minutes of play, keeping his team in the game.
However, the Blizzard doubled their lead with less than two minutes remaining in the period on Mitchell McLeod’s 14th goal of the season.
Grand Falls sent 6 shots on Boucher in the opening period.
The Rapids lost a great opportunity to get on the board in the second period as they had three power play opportunities. The Blizzard added two more goals to take a 4-0 commanding lead.
Jérémy Fortin scored at 6:38 on a rebound in front of the net following a breakaway. Then at 18:24, Tristan Fortin also scored on a rebound, his 13th goal of the season.
Edmundston added one more tally in the final frame, which came at 1:25 on a power play. Peter Amanatidis took control of a lose puck in front of Frédéric Plourde, bringing the final score to 5-0.
Final shots on goal were 38 to 22 in favour of the Blizzard who won their 17th game of the season.
The Rapids will play two more games before the holiday break. Friday night, they host the Miramichi Timberwolves (7:30pm) while on Sunday, the Truro Bearcats come to the E.P. Sénéchal Centre for a 3pm start.
*Peter Amanatidis was the only player for the Blizzard to register 2 points on Saturday night (1g 1a)
*Grand Falls went scoreless on 5 power play opportunities while the Blizzard scored 1 goal on 3 PP chances.
*Game attendance: 2398 spectators
*Three stars of the game: 1- Peter Amanatidis (EDM); 2- Tim Porter (EDM); 3- Thomas Boucher (EDM)
7:33 EDM Tim Porter (5) ASST: None
18:45 EDM Mitchell McLeod (14) ASST: Jeremy Duguay (16), Peter Amanatidis (10)
6:38 EDM Jérémy Fortin (3) ASST: Marco Martin (8), Colby Morin (5)
18:24 EDM Tristan Fortin (13) ASST: Patrick Leblanc (2)
1:25 EDM Peter Amanatidis (7) ASST: Noah Matulu (10), Anastasios Lazaris (7) (PP)