Career night for Filip Zadina in Charlottetown
Have a night Filip Zadina.
The Mooseheads star forward from the Czech Republic recorded his best game of his QMJHL career by scoring four times on Tuesday night to increase his goal total to 33 and Halifax skated past the Charlottetown Islanders 6-2.
The win is the Mooseheads’ 34th of the season (34-12-5-1) and the team has made two very big statements in back-to-back games against the second and third place teams in the division. Charlottetown falls 14 points back of the Maritimes Division-leading Mooseheads while the Herd pulls eight points clear of the idle Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Aside from a couple of minor hiccups, Halifax was in complete control in this game from start to finish. The team came out of the gate skating hard and despite not scoring in the first period they out shot the hometown Islanders 12-4 and it was obvious that pucks would eventually start to go in if they kept up the effort. Their hard work paid off and the continued pressure led to multiple turnovers by Charlottetown and the Moose took advantage scoring three times each in the second and third period.
The first star of the game notched his first goal of the evening 2:46 into the middle stanza when Otto Somppi spotted him in the slot and the puck was barely on Filip Zadina’s stick before it was behind a helpless Matt Welsh. Arnaud Durandeau started the play by knocking the puck over to Somppi at the edge of the Isles net.
The Mooseheads kept coming to go up 2-0 about 11 minutes later as Benoit-Olivier Groulx did the heavy lifting on a smooth rush. The NHL Draft eligible center carried the puck up the ice and smoothly cut through the defense before feeding Zadina who had a wide open net to shoot at for goal #2 on the night.
Halifax made it 3-0 before the second period was over on another pretty passing play. Maxime Fortier showed some patience by quickly stopping at the top of the circle and holding onto the puck before crossing it over to Ryan Barbosa at the dot and the defenceman sent a hard diagonal pass to Raphael Lavoie for a tip-in at the side of the net. It was the eventual winner which gives Lavoie eight game-winning goals this season and that is sixth best in a single season in Mooseheads history. Ramzi Abid had 12 in 1999-2000 while Jason King had 12 twice, in both 2000-01 and 2001-02. Darcy Ashley scored 11 game-winners in 2013-14 and Timo Meier had 10 in 2014-15.
The most notable stat from Lavoie’s goal was the assist by Max Fortier. The point was the 253rd of the Herd Captain’s career as he pulled past Darcy Ashley and into sole possession of second in all-time franchise scoring.
Charlottetown showed they had some fight left in them in the early goings of the third period. Derek Gentile cut the Moose lead to 3-1 when he was finally able to solve Blade Mann-Dixon who put in another strong performance between the pipes. Halifax got that one back only a short time later when Zadina completed the hat trick with a power play goal, scoring from his favourite spot in the circle to the left of Welsh. The Islanders responded once more with a Keith Getson goal less than a minute later to make it a 4-2 game but the Mooseheads put it on cruise control the rest of the way.
Zadina skated hard down the ice to gather an errant puck and walked out in front and waited for Welsh to go down before he lifted a backhand shot into the net, all the while making it look too easy. Charlottetown Head Coach pulled his goalie in favour of the extra man with more than four minutes to play and his team trailing 5-2 but second star Jared McIsaac dashed any faint hopes they had at a comeback when he tallied into the empty cage with 2:42 left in regulation.
The final shots were 40-32 for Halifax as Mann-Dixon grabbed his 22nd victory and made 30 saves in doing so. He also had an assist on Zadina’s second goal to give him four helpers on the season. That puts him in a three-way tie for second-most assists in one season for a Mooseheads goalie. J-S Giguere had seven in 1995-96. Matt Welsh took the loss with 33 saves.
The Mooseheads next game is this Thursday night at home at 7pm against the reigning CHL Goaltender of the Week Zachary Bouthillier and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Bouthillier went 2-0 with a 1.88 goals against average and a .948 save percentage last week for the Sags. The teams haven’t met yet this season but would battle in round one of the playoffs should the standings remain the same. The Mooseheads have 16 game left in the regular season schedule with 10 of them coming on home ice.
Thursday’s game is the final 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.