Another tight battle for Moose in OT loss
The Halifax Mooseheads felt they let one get away from them on Sunday afternoon at Scotiabank Centre. Halifax dropped a second straight overtime game at home, falling 5-4 to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada following a 3-2 overtime loss on Friday to Quebec.
The Mooseheads had leads of 2-1 and 4-3 during the contest but despite another great effort, the young team watched as the visitors piled onto the ice to celebrate a victory. This time Anthony Poulin gave the Armada the win by beating goalie Alex Gravel as Alexander Katerinakis fed him with a pass across in front of the net just 57 seconds into the extra period. The goal came moments after some confusion as to whether Blainville-Boisbriand would be penalized for too many men on the ice. Play was blown dead when the Armada had four players on the ice and had possession of the puck in front of their own bench. The penalty box door was opened but after a brief huddle the officials ruled that it was not a penalty, much to the dismay of the Mooseheads fans.
“I didn’t catch the full rationale behind the decision but I don’t think we should have placed ourselves in that position to be in overtime regardless,” said Assistant Coach Sylvain Favreau.
The turning point came immediately after Benoit-Olivier Groulx gave the Mooseheads a 4-3 advantage at 12:33 of the third period. Barrett Dachyshyn took a poorly timed interference penalty off the ensuing face-off and second star of the game Joel Teasdale made the Herd pay just 13 seconds later when he scored his second goal of the afternoon, silencing the previously jubilant 5,007 fans in the arena.
“We knew it was going to be tough. We wished that we had a bit more jump out of the gate in the first period but it is what it is ending in an overtime loss. The result is not what we wanted but there’s some good takeaways from this game.” Favreau said.
The Mooseheads can pride themselves in earning two points on the weekend against two very formidable opponents in Quebec and Blainville-Boisbriand, both top ten ranked teams in the Canadian Hockey League.
“It feels good playing against two good teams,” said the game’s first star Arnaud Durandeau.
“We could have won both games so that feels good mentally but we still have to work to get those four points out there.”
Durandeau scored twice in the contest and added one assist and now has nine points on the season, just behind team-leaders Maxime Fortier and Filip Zadina who have 10 points each. Durandeau opened the scoring on Sunday when he buried a shot on the power play with assists going to Zadina and Groulx. The Armada tied it 1-1 about two minutes later on Poulin’s first of two goals on the day. Durandeau had the only goal in the middle period as he tipped in a Brett Crossley shot from the point on a play set up by Patty Kyte.
The Pembroke, ON native Kyte had a large cheering section at Scotiabank Centre as 18 friends and family members were there to support him and visit for the Thanksgiving long weekend. The official scorers took a few minutes to add the Kyte assist so there was a noticeable roar from the stands when the scoring change was announced.
The Armada came out aggressive in the third period and scored twice in the opening four minutes and 46 seconds to take a 3-2 lead. The Mooseheads changed the momentum when an emotionally charged Xavier Parent notched his second career goal to tie the game 3-3. Joel Bishop created the play when he won a puck battle behind the Blainville net and sent a perfect pass to the streaking Parent who got the crowd pumped up with his emphatic celebration. Groulx put the Herd in front 4-3 exactly three minutes later but that was the last lead the Mooseheads would hold in the game. Bishop earned the third star for his contributions.
Alex Gravel stopped 25 of 30 shots while Armada goalie Francis Leclerc helped his team win their third game in as many days on the Maritime road trip with his 25 saves. Blainville played without 20-year-old forwards Alexandre Alain and Alex Barre-Boulet. Alain was hurt in Saturday’s win over Saint John and Boulet was serving a suspension for checking from behind that occurred in Bathurst on Friday.
The next game for the Halifax Mooseheads (4-1-2-0) is Wednesday night when they visit the division-leading Moncton Wildcats (5-1-2-0) at the Moncton Coliseum at 7pm. The Mooseheads return to home ice next Saturday night at 7pm when they host the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Pink in the Rink night at Scotiabank Centre.
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