The Yarmouth Mariners have won the Metalfab MHL Cup, defeating the Edmundston Blizzard in four games to capture their third Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL) championship. In the process, Yarmouth has become the first team in MHL history to go 12-0 on their way to winning the league title.
Congratulations to @MarinersHockey, who have captured the #MetalfabMHLCup and will now represent the MHL at the 2023 #CentennialCup, scheduled for May 11-21 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. pic.twitter.com/e25ge0GD9s
— The MHL (@THEMHL) April 22, 2023
Mariners goaltender Joey Lovullo was named MVP of the Metalfab MHL Cup Playoffs. The 19-year-old from Amherst, New York won all ten of his playoff starts for the Mariners. He allowed one or fewer goals in five of those games, including two shutouts. Lovullo finished with a 1.80 goals against average and a .939 save percentage.
After dispatching the Pictou County Weeks Crushers and Truro Bearcats in consecutive series sweeps to win the Eastlink South Division title, the Mariners started the Metalfab MHL Cup Final with a 1-0 win on home ice over the Blizzard. Joey Luvullo made 37 saves for the shutout, while the game’s lone goal came just 70 seconds into the contest from Reid Vos.
Yarmouth went up 2-0 in the series after a 7-5 victory in a back-and-forth Game 2. The Mariners built a 3-0 lead early in the 2nd period with goals from Ryan Semple (PP), Andrew Stuckless, and Alex Roode. The Blizzard cut the lead to 3-2 after goals from Alex Arsenault (PP) and Patrick Leblanc, but the teams would trade goals before the end of the period as Semple scored his second of the night and Tim Porter answered for Edmundston. In the 3rd period, goals from Olivier Coulombe and Jeremy Duguay gave Edmundston their first lead of the series, but it was short-lived as Vos scored on the powerplay just 1:43 after Duguay’s goal to tie things up. Ben Roode gave the home team the lead at 17:13 of the 3rd period and Nathan Kelly found the empty net to clinch the victory. Yarmouth outshot Edmundston 32-29.
The series shifted to Edmundston for Game 3. Tamy Ettaqi scored at 3:23 of the 1st period on the powerplay for Yarmouth. Coulombe tied the game just 39 seconds into the 2nd period on the powerplay, but the Mariners regained the lead at 4:41 with a goal from Reilly Mayne. Arsenault scored for the Blizzard at 16:53 of the 3rd period to tie the game once again and the teams were off to overtime. In the extra frame, Vos scored his second game-winner of the series just 62 seconds in to give the Mariners a 3-2 victory and a 3-0 series lead. Shots were 29-28 for Yarmouth.
In Game 4, Edmundston grabbed the early lead with Coulombe scoring at 8:31 of the 1st period. But as they have done time and time again throughout the season and in the Metalfab MHL Cup Playoffs, Yarmouth responded in a big way with three goals in the period’s final four minutes. Franco Canevari tied the game at 16:03, Mayne gave the Mariners the lead at 17:35, and Michael Marquez scored at 19:57 for a 3-1 lead after the game’s opening period. Canevari scored the only goal of the 2nd period to give Yarmouth a 4-1 lead. Semple added a powerplay goal at 15:04 to seal the game for the Mariners. Lovullo made 44 saves for the win; his busiest night of the playoffs.