The Fredericton Red Wings battled for everything they could get, but it wasn’t enough on Thursday night.
A local midget AAA product, called up for the night, had his fingerprints all over this one as the visiting Edmundston Blizzard posted a 4-2 win over the Red Wings in front of 785 at the Grant*Harvey Centre.
Josh Nadeau, who plays locally with Fredericton’s major midget team, had a goal and two assists to spark the Blizzard.
Former Red Wing captain Evan White – traded at the Maritime Hockey League trade deadline last month – joined Alex Lavoie and Isaac Chapman on the scoresheet for the Blizzard. White’s goal came only 59 seconds into the third period on a powerplay to salt the contest away for the visitors.
Patrick Musico and Aaron Brown tallied for Fredericton.
Marc-Andre Berube-Jalbert made 36 stops, some of the spectacular variety, for the win in goal. Jack Grant faced 30 shots in the Wings’ crease.
Edmundston appeared ready to run away and hide in this one, building a 2-0 lead in the first period before Fredericton found some life in the chippy – and edgy – affair.
The Blizzard scored 2:06 apart in the opening frame, beginning with Gagnon tucking home his second of the season on a third rebound past a sprawled Grant.
Nadeau had an easy one when he simply steered home a goal from the crease edge, left totally alone from Fredericton coverage. It was Nadeau’s second MHL goal.
Finally, the Red Wings found life late in the frame on a 5-on-3 powerplay when Musico scored. His fourth of the year also snapped Fredericton’s 142 minute and 12 second scoreless drought, the rearguard ripping home a snapshot over Berube-Jalbert’s right shoulder.
Fredericton tied it thanks to Brown, scoring against his former teammates on a cross-ice pass from Logan Carruthers. The offensive-minded forward one-time a snapshot home, his 13th of the campaign and fifth since joining the Red Wings.
That goal came with 4:49 to play and capped a flurry of Fredericton chances including a clear-cut breakaway by Adam Zimmerman that was denied by Berube-Jalbert.
Although the celebration was high for Brown’s tally, it was quickly quieted when Chapman gave the visitors a 3-2 lead only 82 seconds later.
Chapman found open ice in the high slot area and high-wired a shot over Grant’s outstretched glove. It was the sniper’s 28th of the season.
White’s goal snuffed any life out of Fredericton despite some late third period extra strength flurries and a long six-on-four edge with Grant on the bench for the final 2:46.