It felt as if 7,964 fans were willing the puck to cross the goal line as Connor Moynihan’s shot in overtime dropped into the crease and sat there bouncing until big Raphael Lavoie skated in and swiped it into the gaping net to set off an excited crowd in Halifax and giving the Mooseheads a big 3-2 win over Sherbrooke.
The Fans at Scotiabank Centre were vocal from the get go and Lavoie’s game ending tally gave them the moment they had been waiting for all night as the Mooseheads fought back from a 2-1 deficit to earn the victory and improve to 12-6-3-0. The Herd have been involved in a plethora of close games already this season with 11 of their 21 games having been decided by one goal. Goaltender Blade Mann-Dixon stole the show in crunch time with the teams knotted at two goals apiece. The 20-year-old came up with a magnificent glove save on Nicolas Roy who came in on a short-handed breakaway with 4:17 to play. That save got a roar from the fans and he did it again moments later with an excellent skate save going across the crease to stop a wrap-around attempt. Mann-Dixon’s stellar play gave his team a spark that they carried with them into the extra period and Lavoie ended the contest 1:26 into the overtime.
Halifax jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Cooper Jones lifted a high looping shot over everyone in front and the puck landed at the top of the crease and bounced past goalie Brendan Cregan. The Phoenix goalie had trouble reading the play as Jones picked up his first goal of the season. The Mooseheads fell victim to some penalty trouble as the game wore on though and Sherbrooke scored two straight on the power play. Czech import player Marek Zachar wired in his 11th of the year with only 54 seconds to go in the opening period and Mathieu Olivier got another on the man advantage nearly nine minutes into the second period.
A trio of players heading to the Canada-Russia Series next week to suit up for Team QMJHL connected on the power play themselves to pull the Mooseheads even once again at 2-2. Jared McIsaac fired a perfect shot towards Benoit-Olivier Groulx who easily tipped the puck past Cregan at 13:25 of the middle stanza. Jocktan Chainey earned the other assist. The teams then played a scoreless third period as both goalies kept their clubs in it. Mann-Dixon was named the first star with 21 saves while Cregan stopped 36 to earn the second star. Lavoie’s game winner resulted in him being named the third star.
The Mooseheads will be off until next Friday night at 7pm when they host Saint John in the Annual DND Appreciation Night. The Moose will also play on home ice Saturday afternoon at 2pm versus Cape Breton prior to the Parade of Lights in Downtown Halifax.
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.