The Halifax Mooseheads received a warm reception from their temporary hosts in Truro on Saturday night, and the home team did not disappoint. Zach Fucale was perfect in just over 30 minutes of work, making 18 saves and Sam LeBlanc had the deciding goal in the shootout to help Halifax to a 4-3 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.
LeBlanc snapped a shot through the five-hole of Sea Dogs goalie Chris Smith in the seventh round of the shootout.
Vince Watt got the Herd on the board first at 12:37 with a shot from the circle with assists going to Brett Crossley and Andrew Shewfelt. Matt Murphy, who would later make a trip to the dentist to repair a front tooth, made it 2-0 for the Mooseheads just over two minutes later. Watt and Leblanc picked up the assists.
“It was actually a high-stick from Vuic that just caught me right in the tooth and I came back to the bench and half of it was off,” Murphy said.
“I think there were some bumps throughout the game but our goaltenders played really welland we broke through ad built some chemistry and made some nice plays. Systematically we have plenty to work on but I think that’s normal with a new team.”
Kelly Bent, playing in his second game in as many nights against his former team, played the agitator role well once again and also scored his first goal as a member of the Herd, jamming one in from the side of the net at 6:53 of the second period. Josh Fitzgerald got credit for the assist.
Kevin Resop took over for Fucale midway through the period and allowed three Saint John goals but stopped seven of the eight shooters he faced in the shootout. The American netminder came up big with a solid save on Adam Bateman to secure the win.
Saint John outshot the Mooseheads 37-26 as Bobby Dugan and Chris Smtih combined to make 23 saves in the Sea Dogs loss.
Halifax improves its preseason record to 2-1-0-1 and will wrap up the exhibition schedule on the road against Cape Breton on Saturday, September 6th.