(1) Edmundston Blizzard vs. (2) Yarmouth Mariners
Game 1 – Saturday April 14th – Centre Jean-Daigle – 7:30pm
Game 2 – Sunday April 15th – Centre Jean-Daigle – 7:30pm
Game 3 – Thursday April 19th – Mariners Center – 7:00pm
Game 4 – Friday April 20th – Mariners Center – 7:30pm
Game 5 – Sunday April 22nd – Centre Jean-Daigle – 3:00pm*
Game 6 – Tuesday April 24th – Mariners Center – 7:00pm*
Game 7 – Thursday April 26th – Centre Jean-Daigle – 7:30pm*
(Number in brackets represents overall regular season standing)
|Regular Season Record (MHL Rank)||36-10-4-0 (76 pts – 1st overall)||35-14-1-0 (71 pts – 2nd overall)|
|Road to the MHL Final
||Def. Miramichi 4-0 in Div. Semi-Finals; Def. Summerside 4-3 in Div. Finals||Def. Truro 4-3 in Div. Semi-Finals; Def. South Shore 4-1 in Div. Finals|
|Previous Appearance in League Final||2016 (As Dieppe Commandos, lost 4-2 to Pictou County)||2012 (lost 4-2 to Woodstock)|
|Last MHL Championship||2015 (as Dieppe Commandos)||2008|
|Playoff Goals For||43||36|
|Playoff Goals Against||36||29|
|Playoff Top Scorer (MHL Rank)||Kyle Ward (8-5-13) & Alexandre Jacob (7-6-13 – T-5th)||Logan Timmons (4-7-11 – T-9th)|
|Playoff Top Scoring Defenseman||Alexandre Bernier (2-6-8)||Adam Pilotte (1-4-5) & Duncan McKie (0-5-5)|
|Playoff Goaltender Stats||Myles Hektor (4-1, 2.88GAA, .899SV%) & Francis Asselin (4-2, 3.25GAA, .893SV%)||Leif Hertz (8-3, 2.32GAA, .927SV%, 1SO) & Thomson Phinney (0-1, 2.30GAA, .909SV%)|
|Head to Head Record||1-2-0-0, 2 pts, 8 GF||2-1-0-0, 4 pts, 9 GF|
|Leading Scorer in Season Series||Alexandre Jacob (2G, 3A)||Duncan McKie (0G, 3A)|
Previous Meetings –
Yarmouth 2 @ Edmundston 1 – November 19th
Edmundston 1 @ Yarmouth 4 – January 20th
Yarmouth 3 @ Edmundston 6 – February 18th
- The Blizzard, in their first season playing in Edmundston, are making their initial foray into the MHL Final. However, this is actually the fourth time in five seasons the franchise has reached this mark. The Dieppe Commandos appeared in three consecutive MHL Finals from 2014-16.
- In earning their spot in the 2018 MHL Final, the Yarmouth Mariners are ending a six year drought. The Mariners lost a thrilling seven game series to the Woodstock Slammers in 2012, with the seventh game extending all the way into triple overtime. The Mariners’ last playoff championship occurred in 2008, when they defeated those same Slammers in six games.
- Both teams had to endure a series that went the full seven games before punching their ticket to the league final. The last time both league finalists won a seven game series en route to the finals was back in 2006, when the Woodstock Slammers defeated the Amherst Ramblers.
- Two members of the Blizzard are heading to the MHL Final one year after appearing in the QMJHL Final. Forward Kyle Ward and defenseman Alexandre Bernier both won the President Cup as members of the Saint John Sea Dogs in 2017.
- For the Mariners, this is the continuation of a rebuilding process that commenced two seasons ago. The rapidity with which the Mariners vaulted towards the top of the league standings helped earn Laurie Barron this year’s MHL Coach of the Year accolades.
- One of the primary off-ice topics of conversation revolving around this series will be attendance. The Mariners have attracted 10,089 fans in seven playoff games – including sellout crowds in their past five matches. Not to be outdone, the Blizzard have sold out each of their first six postseason games, drawing 16,714 fans through the turnstiles at Centre Jean-Daigle.
- The other key off-ice topic? Distance. With the two clubs that are geographically the furthest from one another facing off in this series, travel could very well prove to be an on-ice factor. Should this series go the full seven games – and assuming both teams stick strictly to road travel – the Blizzard could see themselves traversing nearly 4000 kilometers entering Game 7. The Mariners would wind up clocking almost 5000 kilometers entering a potential seventh game… and that’s not counting the 999 kilometer drive back to Yarmouth afterwards!
- The winner of this series will move on to represent the MHL at the Fred Page Cup, being held from May 2nd-6th in Ottawa, Ontario.
Will MacLaren – themhl.ca