The long road to recovery will fittingly end on the same day for a pair of Mooseheads veteran defencemen. Walter Flower and Jordan Lepage will both return to the blueline on Thursday night at home against Baie-Comeau. The players have spent several months rehabbing injuries to get to this point and their presence will be a huge boost to the defense corps.
“It’s awesome (to be back). It’s been a long six months recovery from shoulder surgery and I actually haven’t played a game since last March so I’m really looking forward to it,” Flower said.
Flower left the game in the first period of game three of the playoffs vs Rouyn Noranda on March 28th with an upper body injury and wasn’t able to get back on the ice skating until September 12th. He has spent the last two months building strength and getting his body back into game shape. The 18-year-old Lunenburg, NS native was the 26th overall pick in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft and has appeared in 100 regular season games with the Mooseheads, recording three goals, 19 assists and 61 penalty minutes. He said sitting in the press box instead of being on the ice was one of the toughest parts of being on the shelf.
“It’s the worst thing ever being up there watching your teammates play out there and winning games and you wish that you were out there with them winning. I’m hoping to do that tomorrow night.”
Lepage was a third round pick of the Mooseheads, 44th overall, in 2015 and has played in 62 games over parts of two seasons. He has 14 career assists and recorded his first career goal in the playoffs against Rouyn-Noranda. He required off-season surgery after a lower body injury and has slowly been working his way back. Lepage will add a physical element to the Mooseheads defense that will help compliment one of the league’s most talented blueline groups.
The return to the lineup comes at a key time with rookie Justin Barron away at the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge and it allows Brett Crossley to return to his natural position at center where he has been a fixture on the fourth line this season. Rookie left winger Xavier Parent is also still away in British Columbia at the World U17’s. The two Halifax rookies are playing together on Canada Red and they will face Canada Black in quarter-final action on Thursday night.
Forward Maxime Fortier remains day-to-day with an upper body injury and will be a game-time decision. Fortier left Saturday’s overtime loss in Drummondville after taking a hard hit into the boards in the first period.
The Moose will play their next five games on Scotiabank Centre ice beginning Thursday night against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar at 7pm. It’s the first Student Night of the season which means tickets for just $9 with valid student ID, free cover at the Dome & Cheers plus we are giving away $1000 for your books and tuition!
Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com, the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square or call 451-1221.