THE BLIZZARD WIN A CLOSE 2-1 VICTORY OVER THE RAPIDS
EDMUNDSTON – Mitchell MacLeod scored with less than 4 minutes remaining in regulation time, giving the Edmundston Blizzard a 2-1 victory Friday night against the Grand Falls Rapids.
MacLeod was well positioned to the side of net and sent the puck high into the top corner, breaking a 1-1 tie. Mathieu Pelletier had previously tied the game for Edmundston at 2:32 of the third frame.
The Rapids held on to a 1-0 lead through forty minutes of play as they were able to hang tough against the Blizzard on all facets of the game. Edmundston completely dominated the remaining twenty minutes of play however, controlling play at the other end and getting the upper hand on scoring opportunities.
Gio DiMattia was the best player on the ice for the Rapids, blocking 31 shots including many of them from up close.
It was the Rapids’ 13th defeat of the season and a third in a row against the Blizzard.
The first ten minutes of play of the game were sort of difficult for the Rapids as their opponents led in shots on goal. Getting the puck out of its own territory was also a challenge for Grand Falls as the Blizzard pressed constantly the puck carrier.
However, things went much better for the Rapids in the second half of the period as they sent more pucks to the net and came out more aggressive in Blizzard territory.
The game remained scoreless after twenty minutes of play as shots on goal were even 8-8.
The Rapids came out strong in the second period and gave their opponents a hard time by being more physical even though Edmundston outshot Grand Falls 15 to 8 in the frame.
It was the Rapids who were first to get on the board at the 6-minute mark of the period, only seconds after missing a great opportunity to open the scoring on a two-man break at the other end. Leaving his post from the blue line, defenseman Zac Arsenault took a pass from the slot and sent a wrister behind netminder Raphael Audet. It was Arsenault’s 6th tally of the season.
Gio DiMattia was solid in net for the Rapids, making some key saves and blocking all 15 shots he faced.
As mentioned previously, the Blizzard were dominant in the third period as they were able to get twice on the board. Mathieu Pelletier tied the score at the 2-minute mark on a backhand shot and at 16:24, Mitchell MacLeod scored the game winning goal as Edmundston was pressing hard deep in Rapids’ territory.
The final tally in shots on goal was in favour of the Blizzard, 33-25. Take note that only 4 minutes in penalties were called in the game, one minor on each side.
The Rapids will return to the ice on Saturday night as they travel to Fredericton to play the Red Wings. Puck drop is at 7pm at the Grant-Harvey Centre.
*Missing from the Rapids’ lineup on Friday night was Joachim Matulu (suspended) and forward Evan Jackson who was traded earlier in the day to the South Shore Lumberjacks in return for a 5th round pick in the 2023 MHL draft.
The Rapids also traded for a defenseman on Friday, acquiring Zachary Smith from the Truro Bearcats. Grand Falls sends in return a 5th round pick in the 2022 draft.
*Three stars of the game: 1- Mathieu Pelletier (EDM) ; 2- Mitchell MacLeod (EDM) ; 3- Gio DiMattia (GFR)
*Game attendance : 2119 spectators
|6:35||GFR||Zac Arsenault (6) ASST: Alexis Cournoyer (10), Jeremie Gagnon (8)|
|2:32||EDM||Mathieu Pelletier (5) ASST: Alex Savoie (6)|
|16:24||EDM||Mitchell McLeod (9) ASST: Jeremy Duguay (8), Noah Gibbs (11)|