FEBRUARY 2 – VS Steinbach Pistons
The OCN Blizzard faced a tough challenge on Friday, February 2, 2024, as they visited the Steinbach Pistons, the top team in the Eastern Division. The Blizzard were determined to snap a two-game losing streak and gain some ground in the standings, but the Pistons managed to edge them out, winning 5-2 and extending their own winning streak to six games.
The FIRST PERIOD was a close one, with both teams exchanging some good scoring opportunities. The Blizzard had some good chances on their power plays, but could not find the back of the net. The Pistons scored two goals in the final five minutes to take a 2-0 lead.
The SECOND PERIOD saw the Blizzard continue to press and create chances, but they were unlucky to hit the post and the crossbar on several occasions. The Pistons added two more goals to make it 4-0..
The THIRD PERIOD was the best one for the Blizzard, who scored two goals to cut the deficit to 4-2. Quincy Supprien scored just 35 seconds into the period, and Miguel Bouvier scored on a solo effort with five minutes left. The Blizzard showed their resilience and character, and almost scored a third goal, but the Pistons sealed the win with an empty-net goal by Jackson Kostiuk, who capitalized on a turnover in the neutral zone.
FEBRUARY 3 – Blizzard Defeat Winnipeg Blues 4-1
Despite the issues with the internet, the Blizzard showed their dominance on Saturday night as they beat the Winnipeg Blues 4-1 at the St. James Civic Centre. The Blizzard improved their record to 24-13-1-3, while the Blues fell to 7-31-3-0.
During the FIRST PERIOD the Blizzard opened the scoring at 9:28, when Tyler Bernier netted his second goal of the season, assisted by Adam Belzil and Lucas de la Salle. The Blizzard outshot the Blues 20-10 in the opening frame, and took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
Into the SECOND PERIOD the Blizzard extended their lead, with two goals in less than five minutes. Keenan McNeill scored his 11th of the year at 5:14, with Miguel Bouvier and Kieran Cooke picking up the helpers. Marlen Edwards added his 11th as well at 10:00, with de la Salle getting his second assist of the night. The Blizzard dominated the shots on goal 14-3 in the middle stanza, and led 3-0 after 40 minutes.
The THIRD PERIOD saw the Blues tried to mount a comeback but the Blizzard were too strong defensively. Lucas de la Salle scored a short-handed goal at 5:40, his sixth of the season, to make it 4-0 for the Blizzard. Sebastian Hamming and Griffin Ayotte assisted on the goal. The Blues finally got on the board at 16:28, when Lucas Desousa scored his ninth of the year, with Liam Krupcyznski and Carter Demelo getting the assists. The Blizzard held on for a 4-1 victory, and outshot the Blues 48-23 overall.
FEBRUARY 4 – Portage Terriers
The OCN Blizzard suffered a narrow 3-2 loss to the Portage Terriers on Sunday, February 4, 2024, at Stride Place. The Blizzard fought hard to overcome a three-goal deficit, but could not find the equalizer in the final minutes of the game.
FIRST PERIOD the Terriers came out strong and scored two goals early. While the Blizzard managed only one shot on goal in the first 20 minutes, while the Terriers had six.
During the SECOND PERIOD the Terriers extended their lead to 3-0 with a power play goal. The Blizzard had more chances in the second period, firing 12 shots on Jayden Catellier, but could not beat him.
THIRD PERIOD saw The Blizzard finally get on the board at 8:03, when Brett Ward scored his sixth goal of the season, assisted by Sam Zagari and Riley See. The Blizzard continued to press and made it a one-goal game at 14:31, when Riley See scored his 11th goal of the season, with Sam Zagari and Emilien Charron getting the assists. The Blizzard pulled their goalie Loic Morin for an extra attacker in the last minute, but could not find the tying goal. The Terriers held on for a 3-2 win, with Catellier making 25 saves on 27 shots. Morin made 20 saves on 23 shots for the Blizzard.
The Blizzard are now 25-13-1-3 on the season, while the Terriers are 27-9-4-4. The Blizzard will look to bounce back on February 9 and 10th, when the Flyers and the Freeze come to the Roy H.