Miramichi defeat Edmundston, advance to Metalfab MHL Cup Final

Metalfab Ltd. Business Development Manager Ryan Stacey (centre) and MHL President Connor Cameron (far right) present the Eastlink North Division trophy and Hockey NB banner to the Miramichi Timberwolves.

The Miramichi Timberwolves have defeated the top-seeded Edmundston Blizzard in a closely contested series in four straight games to capture the Eastlink North Division title for the first time since 2016-17 and advance to the Metalfab MHL Cup Final.

(Photo: Aaron Spencer)

The Timberwolves took an early lead in Game 1 in Edmundston with a goal at 8:42 from Hugo Audette. Cole Foston added another goal at 13:36 of the 2nd period, and Miramichi built a 3-0 lead at 3:19 of the 3rd period with a goal from Owen Graham. The Blizzard fought back with two late goals, one from Félix Bédard at 16:59 and another at 19:52 from Dominic LeBlanc, but Miramichi held on for the 3-2 win and a 1-0 series lead. Jack Flanagan made 32 saves in the win.

Shifting back to Miramichi for Game 2, the Timberwolves again struck first. This time it was a goal from David Doucet at 9:15. The Blizzard would hold a 2-1 lead at the end of the 1st period, however, with a goal from Carl-Anthony Massé at 12:45 and then a powerplay goal from Alexis Jacques at 17:35. Jeremy Duhamel scored on the powerplay at 5:53 of the 2nd period to tie things up, but Edmundston again took a lead into the dressing room as Jérémy Fortin scored at 9:58. Miramichi would take back the lead early in the 3rd period with two goals in 54 seconds from Tim Porter and Audette. Massé potted his second of the night at 9:48 to tie the game, but Doucet scored the eventual game-winner on the powerplay at 11:06 for the 5-4 victory and a 2-0 series lead. Miramichi outshot Edmundston 40-29 on the night.

In Edmundston for Game 3, the Blizzard jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the opening 20 minutes on goals from Peter Amanatidis, Fortin (on the powerplay), and Justin Hebert. Zachael Turgeon scored the lone goal for Miramichi in the 1st. Duhamel had a powerplay goal in the 2nd period to get the Timberwolves back within one as the Blizzard couldn’t beat Flanagan. Doucet scored with eighteen seconds left in the game to tie things up 3-3 and send the teams to overtime. The opening ten minutes of extra time came and went, so the teams prepared for a second overtime period. At 1:31 of that frame, Turgeon banked the puck in off an Edmundston defenseman to give the Timberwolves a 3-2 win and a 3-0 series lead.

With thoughts of sweeping their way to the league final, the Timberwolves hit the ice at the Miramichi Civic Centre and took the early lead with a goal from reigning MHL Player of the Year Ludovic Dufort at 10:14. Bédard tied things up at 18:31. In the 2nd period, Mitchell Wagner scored two goals in 2:44 to put the home side up 3-1. Philippe Collette got a goal back for Edmundston at 6:11 of the 3rd period, but David Doucet iced the game with his 10th goal of the playoffs into the empty Blizzard net to give Miramichi a 4-2 victory and a stunning 4-0 series win.

Miramichi now awaits the winner of the Eastlink South Division Final between the Summerside Western Capitals and the Amherst Ramblers. Game 6 goes Friday night in Amherst with the Western Capitals leading the series 3-2.