Fireworks Show in Charlottetown
The Mooseheads showed off their firepower on Thursday night in Charlottetown with a convincing 8-2 win over the Islanders at the Eastlink Centre.
Raphael Lavoie had his talents on full display and earned the first star of the game after scoring a hat trick and adding an assist as Halifax improved to 6-2 to begin the season. All of those games have been on the road with seven more to come before the Mooseheads home opener on October 27th, although the frequent travelling hasn’t seemed to affect the Herd.
The goal light nearly burned out in Charlottetown as the Moose tallied three times in the first period, three times in the second period and twice more in the third. Second star Antoine Morand also featured prominently on the score sheet with a goal and three assists beside his name while third star Alex Gravel quietly had an excellent night between the pipes with 35 saves for his fifth win in seven starts.
20-year-old Jordan Maher got the fun started on a first period power play. He was parked in front of Islanders goalie Matt Welsh and got his stick on a point blast from Justin Barron at the 4:46 mark. Also picking up an assist on the play was defenceman Jared McIsaac who was playing in his first game of the season after suffering an upper body injury during Detroit Red Wings training camp. The Truro, NS native ended up with a pair of assists to go along with 4 PIMS in the victory.
Halifax jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to back-to-back tallies by veteran Samuel Asselin who roofed a shot from in tight on Welsh and followed it up with a hard backhander from the slot 3:04 later. Charlottetown got one back before the end of the period when Hunter Drew’s point shot beat a screened Gravel at 19:14.
Antoine Morand picked up the first of his four points in the opening minute of the second period when he scored to make it a 4-1 game. That spelled the end of the night for goalie Matt Welsh who allowed four goals on 15 shots and Charlottetown Head Coach sent in Dakota Lund-Cornish in relief. Raphael Lavoie welcomed Lund-Cornish to the game with a quick shot from the slot on the power play and then increased the lead to 6-1 with one of his patented drives to the net around the defender and cutting back out in front to beat the goalie and the rout was on. Drew Johnston cut the Halifax lead to 6-2 late in the period but the Mooseheads already had it on cruise control. BO Groulx tipped in a McIsaac shot for his first goal of the season at 4:24 of the third period and Lavoie out-hustled P-O Joseph in a one-on-one race to finish off the hat trick in style with a pretty goal late in the game.
The power play was effective for the Mooseheads who went 2-4 while the penalty kill continued to be a bright spot with the team killing off all six Islanders chances on the man advantage. Halifax is third in the QMJHL with an 88.2% kill rate.
The Mooseheads were still distinctly short-handed due to injuries with Xavier Parent the latest to get bit by the injury bug. He sat out with a minor upper body injury joining Ostap Safin, Joel Bishop, Kyle Petten and Samuel Dube as players hurt and unable to play. The team called-up forward Gavin Hart to help fill out the roster while defenceman Denis Toner was asked to play forward for the night. He was on the left wing on the fourth line with Hart and centre Brock McLeod.
Halifax will be hunting for win number seven on Friday night in Saint John versus the Sea Dogs while the Herd will also visit the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Sunday afternoon.
The Mooseheads Home Opener will be held on Saturday October 27th versus the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at 7pm.
Individual tickets to all 34 Halifax Mooseheads home games are on sale now for the General Public at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore outlets, TicketAtlantic.com, the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square Mall or by phone 902-451-1221.