The Mooseheads were expected to roll over the visiting Sea Dogs on Saturday night and they did not disappoint their fans with a 10-2 rout on home ice in winning for the 20th time this season.
In a game where 15 different players made their way onto the scoresheet, Halifax built up a 7-0 lead before the Sea Dogs broke Alex Gravel’s shutout bid late in the second period. Defenceman Justin Barron had four assists to lead all scorers and he tied a franchise record for most assists in one game by a Mooseheads defenceman.
Patty Kyte and Samuel Asselin both scored twice while Jodan Maher, Jake Ryczek, BO Groulx, Antoine Morand, Arnaud Durandeau and Denis Toner all added singles. Toner’s goal was the first of his QMJHL career and he couldn’t have been happier.
“It felt amazing man. I get goosebumps just to think about it. It was a special moment, I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a little kid,” he said.
Halifax improved to 20-7-1-0 and earned a third consecutive victory. Toner said the team is heading in the right direction with the recent streak following a three game losing streak that was snapped last weekend.
“It’s good to get back on track. We were on a little slump for bit there. We’ve been practicing really hard and coach has been putting some new systems in and the boys are dialed in.”
The win was just the start of what will be a very busy weekend for the Mooseheads with another home game on Saturday night against Acadie-Bathurst and a road game on Sunday afternoon in Charlottetown. With the Titan in town it will be another game in which the Mooseheads are expected to win but Kyte said his team will need to be on their toes.
“When you take a team too lightly, sometimes the puck won’t bounce your way so it’s important that we play like the way we did tonight.”
Defencemen were a big part of the offense in the latest victory as the blue-liners chipped in with nine points.
The goal scoring started early with Samuel Asselin netting his 19th of the season just 1:18 into the contest. Joel Bishop patiently waited on a two-on-one before eventually threading a pass across to the 20-year-old Asselin. Kyte followed it up with a hard wrist shot from just outside the circle later in the period as his shot went high up and under the bar to make it 2-0. Jake Ryczek was next in the goal scoring parade and made it 3-0 only nine seconds into a power play.5
Halifax got four more consecutive goals in the second period from Kyte, Durandeau, Asselin and Maher before the Sea Dogs got on the board. Nicholas Deakin-Poot cut the Moose lead to 7-1 after 40 minutes. Saint John scored again early in the third with Jeremie Jacob beating Gravel but the blitz kept coming from the Herd. Groulx, Morand and Toner rounded out the scoring and the 7,915 fans in the building got their money’s worth in terms of goal celebrations.
Saint John Head Coach Josh Dixon pulled starting goalie Mikhail Denisov 8:30 into the second period after allowing five goals on 16 shots. His replacement Tommy DaSilva didn’t have it any easier and finished with 10 saves on 15 shots. Alex Gravel picked up his 15th win of the season and stopped 23 of 25 shots.
3 Stars: Joel Bishop had three assists in the victory to earn the first star, Jake Ryczek had one goal and one assist to go along with a +4 and was named second star. Justin Barron’s quartet of assists made him the third star.
Next Game: The Mooseheads (20-7-1-0) welcome Acadie-Bathurst (5-23-0-1) Saturday night at 7pm. Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com, the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square or charge by phone 902-451-1221.