Top News

Mooseheads bounce back for shootout win and earn weekend split

A Halifax shot glances off the post by Saint John Sea Dogs goalie Creed Jones as Mooseheads forward Markus Vidicek looks on during QMJHL play Saturday evening at Scotiabank Centre. The Mooseheads were victorious 5-4 in a shootout.  GLENN MacDONALD
A Halifax shot glances off the post by Saint John Sea Dogs goalie Creed Jones as Mooseheads forward Markus Vidicek looks on during QMJHL play Saturday evening at Scotiabank Centre. The Mooseheads were victorious 5-4 in a shootout. GLENN MacDONALD

The Halifax Mooseheads were hoping for a bounce-back performance Saturday night.

They got it and, in the process, snapped a four-game losing skid.

The Mooseheads escaped with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs at Scotiabank Centre, 24 hours after they were handily beaten 5-0 by the Charlottetown Islanders. Former Sea Dog Robert Orr, acquired by Halifax in the off-season, scored the shootout winner.

“It was a great bounce back; we needed that big time,” said rookie forward James Swan, who collected two assists. “We had lost four in a row. It was a better effort tonight.

“Coach wanted us to play a lot harder and bring a grittier style of hockey. And that’s what we did. We played hard to play against. We were more in their face, we finished our checks and we played with a lot of pace. That’s what we needed.”

It was a much different Mooseheads team out of the gate than the sluggish squad from Friday.

They were quicker and more aggressive. And after being shut out the night before, they opened the scoring just 5:06 into the game.

Swan stole the puck from Sea Dogs defenceman Jeremie Poirier and fed fellow 16-year-old Markus Vidicek, who sniped the first of his two goals on the evening. He also scored in the shootout.

“Viddy is a very smart player and has a great hockey IQ,” Swan said of Vidicek, the Mooseheads’ 14th overall pick in the 2020 QMJHL draft. Swan and Vidicek were also teammates – along with Orr and goalie Brady James – in midget with the Lac St-Louis Lions.

“I played with Viddy last year and now we’re reunited together on the same line. With our smarts and grit, it’s a good combination. We had great chemistry tonight.”

Zachary L’Heureux and Elliot Desnoyers also scored for the Mooseheads, who had leads of 3-2 and 4-3 in the third only to see Saint John find the equalizer.

The Sea Dogs pressed the host side in the period, outshooting Halifax 15-8. Mooseheads goalie Cole McLaren, who was pulled after two periods in Friday’s loss, was stellar in his own bounce-back performance.

McLaren was 1:26 from posting the win in regulation but a fluky Sea Dogs goal – a point shot that was deflected twice and ricocheted off Joshua Roy’s leg and into the net – sent the game into extra time.

The 20-year-old netminder, after he was beaten by Alex Drover in the first shootout attempt, stopped the next two shooters, Roy and Brady Burns.

“Cole stood on his head tonight,” Swan said. “He was a brick wall back there. It was unfortunate that last goal and how it went in. But he was a big factor in the win tonight. We’re very happy to get that for him because last night was tough. It was a great bounce back.”

The Mooseheads were also boosted by the return of smooth-skating defenceman Cameron Whynot, who had missed the past three games with an undisclosed upper body injury.

“It was definitely good to be back in there,” the 17-year-old blue-liner said. “I was out for three games but it felt like I was out for 10. It was difficult not being able to contribute and watching them struggle. It happens in hockey that teams struggle It felt great to be back tonight and get that win.

“It’s such a huge win. We’ve been in a slump but this one could be huge and hopefully this carries us forward.”

Drover, Riley Bezeau and Josh Lawrence had the other goals for the Sea Dogs (1-1-1-1).

The Mooseheads take their 2-3-1 record into next weekend when they visit the Cape Breton Eagles for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday at Centre 200. Their next home game is Oct. 29 versus the Moncton Wildcats.

“Now we know what it takes and how we need to play to win,” Swan said. “We just have to keep that rolling when we get to Cape Breton next weekend.”

TITAN 8, EAGLES 1

Acadie-Bathurst blasted visiting Cape Breton in the Saturday matinee and sweep the weekend tilt.

Eight different scorers – including Cole Huckins, who had three assists – paced the Titan to their fifth win in six games.

Shawn Element had the lone goal for Cape Breton (2-4-0-0). The Eagles captain moved into a tie with Charlottetown’s Cedric Desruisseaux and Thomas Casey for the QMJHL scoring lead with 11 points.

On Friday night, the Titan scored three unanswered goals in the third period to clip the Eagles 6-4.

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories