The Mooseheads picked up their 25th win of the season in fine fashion on Saturday night at Harbour Station in Saint John as they rallied back from a 3-1 deficit to score an exciting 5-4 overtime victory against the Sea Dogs.
Raphael Lavoie finished the game with nifty goal as he barreled down on goalie Alex D’Orio following a game-saving stop at the other end by Blade Mann-Dixon. The Halifax goalie made a glove save and flipped the puck ahead to Jocktan Chainey who carried the puck into enemy territory before dishing off to Lavoie. The big winger took the puck from forehand to backhand and slid it behind D’Orio for his 13th goal of the season. The win is the fourth straight for the Mooseheads as the team continues to lead the Maritimes Division with a 25-10-4-1 record. Halifax’s 55 points is five more than second place Acadie-Bathurst in the division with those teams meeting up Sunday afternoon at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre. The Mooseheads are now one point behind Blainville-Boisbriand for first place in the overall standings.
The Herd opened the scoring 3:23 into the first period when second star Brett Crossley potted his first goal of the season off a Connor Moynihan rebound. The Sea Dogs quickly answered with Luke Wilson tying the game 19 seconds later. Saint John opened up a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes with goals coming from Ostap Safin and Anthony Boucher. Staring goalie Alex Gravel was chased after Boucher’s tally at 16:35 as he allowed three goals on 11 shots. Blade Mann-Dixon entered the game and proceeded to stop 25 of the 26 shots he faced to earn the third star.
Head Coach Jim Midgley had his players skating hard in the middle stanza as the Mooseheads dominated the period, outshooting the Dogs 17-7. BO Groulx cut into the Saint John lead with his career-best 18th of the season at the 1:49 mark and Jared McIsaac tied the score 3-3 on the power play at 17:53 as he tossed a wrist shot through a pile of bodies in front to beat D’Orio for his fifth goal of the campaign. Connor Moynihan drew assists on each of the Mooseheads’ first three goals.
Brett Crossley continued his excellent night when he put his team back in front on a shot that deflected off a Sea Dogs player in front just two minutes into the third period and it was a 4-3 Halifax advantage. However just like the first time he scored, Saint John bounced back quickly and first star Radim Salda tied the game 4-4 less than a minute later. The goal occurred as Crossley handed his stick to McIsaac who had his break moments earlier. Mann-Dixon was unbeatable the rest of the way even as Saint John controlled the puck possession in the overtime period. As is seen so many times in hockey, his big glove save at one end directly led to the Moose goal by Lavoie and Halifax won a second straight overtime decision.
Moynihan led the way with three assists while the team also got helpers from Lavoie, Mann-Dixon, Chainey, Max Fortier, Patty Kyte, and Xavier Parent. Fortier’s assist gives him 240 career points which is two behind Jonathan Drouin for third all-time in Mooseheads history.
The 25 wins by the Mooseheads is just two fewer than last season’s win total of 27. The power play has been a big part of the current four-game winning streak with the team scoring six times with the man advantage during the stretch. Halifax wraps up the road trip Sunday at 3pm in Acadie-Bathurst. The team returns to home ice on Thursday night against the Charlottetown Islanders on student night at Scotiabank Centre. 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.