The Edmundston Blizzard have put themselves on the brink of a championship.
Kyle Ward led the way with a hat trick and Gabriel Vanier scored twice as the Blizzard defeated the Yarmouth Mariners 6-2 in Game 5 of the MHL Final this afternoon at the Centre Jean-Daigle. With the win, the Blizzard now lead this best of seven series three games to two.
The Blizzard found themselves ahead 2-0 after 20 minutes. Vanier’s first of the game opened the scoring at the 5:11 mark. With just under four minutes remaining in the frame, Vincent Rioux’s third goal of the playoffs put Edmundston up by two. It marked the first time in this series that either team held a lead of more than one goal.
Edmundston would pump 23 shots on net in the second period and increase their lead to 4-1 in the process. Ward’s first two goals of the game – at the 11:42 and 12:36 marks, respectively – would spot the Blizzard a four goal edge. The Mariners would hit the scoresheet before 40 minutes had elapsed thanks to a powerplay tally by Matt Barron, his second of the playoffs.
In the third, Vanier’s second of the game and eighth of the playoffs would restore the four goal Blizzard advantage just over six minutes in. Brent Broaders’ powerplay marker – his third of the playoffs – would round out the scoring for Yarmouth just over halfway through the period. Finally, Ward’s hat trick goal, one of his league leading 14 for the postseason, rounded out the scoring at the 15:53 mark. Francis Asselin made 35 saves for the Blizzard while Leif Hertz and Thomson Phinney combined to stop 35 shots for the Mariners.
Game 6 of the series will take place in Yarmouth Tuesday night at 7PM. Catch all the action on mhl.hockeytv.com.
Elsewhere, the Fred Page Cup host Ottawa Jr Senators will also be entering the Eastern Canadian Championships as the CCHL playoff title holders thanks to a 5-4 victory over the Carleton Place Canadians last night in Carleton Place. With the win, the Senators took the Bogart Cup Championship in five games. Both teams will represent the CCHL at this year’s Fred Page Cup. Meanwhile, earlier this afternoon, the Longueuil College Francais defeated the Terrebonne Cobras 8-5 in Game 5 of their Napa Cup Championship Final. With the win, Longueuil won the series in five games and will advance to the Fred Page Cup for the fourth consecutive year.
Will MacLaren – themhl.ca