The Mooseheads winning streak has reached lucky number seven after a late comeback in Charlottetown and a Raphael Lavoie overtime goal to give Halifax an exciting 3-2 victory over the Islanders.
Lavoie, the first star, received the puck from Jake Ryczek along the half-boards and walked around defenceman P-O Joseph and made it look easy against goalie Matt Welsh and the visitors poured off the bench in celebration. Lavoie’s goal was his 18th of the season and his personal hot streak hit new heights with a sixth straight multi-point game that has seen him rack up 15 points in that stretch.
The Islanders and Mooseheads were locked in a scoreless tie after 40 minutes as goalie Blade Mann-Dixon stymied his old team time after time en route to earning the second star of the game with 41 saves. Lavoie finally broke the stalemate when he cashed in from the right of Welsh 2:40 into the third period with assists going to Otto Somppi and Arnaud Durandeau.
The Mooseheads played excellent defensive hockey for the most part which included perfect penalty killing. Halifax held Charlottetown in check for all five power plays. The Islanders kept coming though and eventually beat Mann-Dixon as newly acquired Cam Askew tied the game 1-1 with 4:32 remaining in regulation. Askew later earned the game’s third star. His goal put the Moose on their heels a bit and gave Charlottetown a spark. The pressure continued and Keith Getson drove down the middle of the ice and lit the lamp with 2:10 to go, giving his team a 2-1 lead. The win was there for the taking for the Islanders but they took their one and only penalty of the game at a poor time as P-O Joseph was sent off for hooking at 18:15. The Mooseheads also sent Mann-Dixon to the bench in favour of a 6-on-4 situation. They moved the puck around well and American Jake Ryczek got the biggest goal of his young QMJHL career as he fired one behind Welsh to tie the game 2-2 with only 40 seconds and change on the clock. Jocktan Chainey and Otto Somppi had the assists. Lavoie ended the game a little more than halfway though the extra period and Halifax improved its record to 28-10-4-1 to solidify their hold on first place both in the Maritimes Division and in the overall QMJHL standings.
Somppi celebrated his 20th birthday by collecting two assists, bringing his league-best total to 36 and increasing his QMJHL-leading +/- rating to +30. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect had five assists in the back-to-back games with the Islanders. Charlottetown saw it’s record dip to 25-13-3-0, eight points back of the Mooseheads in the division. Halifax has won seven in a row seven times in franchise history. The all-time team record for consecutive wins is 15 set in 1998-99.
Final shots were 43-28 in favour of Charlottetown. The Mooseheads played without superstar Filip Zadina who was given a maintenance day to rest up for the tail end of the three games in three days battle with the Wildcats on Saturday night in Moncton. Justin Barron and Kyle Petten also sat out with minor injuries.
The next home game at Scotiabank Centre is next Wednesday at 7pm versus the Wildcats. 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.