The Halifax Mooseheads took it on the chin Saturday night in Bathurst. The Titan scored early and often and and throttled the Mooseheads 11-1 in front of more than 2800 fans at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre.
Mitchell Balmas did the bulk of the damage with four goals, all of them coming in the first period. Balmas opened the scoring at the 43 second mark and the route was on. Samuel L’Italien, Ethan Crossman and Jeffrey Viel also scored in the opening 20 minutes to stake the Titan to a big 7-0 lead. Bathurst tacked on three more in the second period and one in the third before Kyle Petten broke the shutout with his first career goal for the Mooseheads.
Starting goalie Alex Gravel was pulled after allowing five goals on 11 shots while Blade Mann Dixon also had a tough night, stopping 22 of 28. Acadie-Bathurst was four of eight on the man advantage with the first star Balmas scoring three of those power play markers. The Titan forward was acquired from Gatineau during the Christmas trade period in exchange for Dawson Theede and a pair of first round picks.
Filip Zadina was handed a five minute major and a game misconduct in the first period following a collision with Titan goalie Evan Fitzpatrick that forced the goalie to leave the game. He was replaced by Joseph Murdaca. Halifax was playing without Captain Max Fortier who sat out with a lower body injury. He left early in Friday’s overtime win against Cape Breton and did not return. Joel Bishop missed his second straight game following a cut from a skate on Wednesday. Defenceman Justin Barron was also sidelined with an upper body injury. The rookie hasn’t played since New Year’s Eve in Sydney.
The Mooseheads (30-11-5-1) continue to lead the overall QMJHL standings with 66 points. Second place Blainville-Boisbriand is three points back with five games in hand. Halifax’s division lead over Acadie-Bathurst (25-13-6-2) is eight points.
Highly touted prospects Filip Zadina, Jared McIsaac, Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Alex Gravel will take part in Thursday night’s CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Guelph, Ontario at 8pm on Sportsnet.
The next Mooseheads home game is Saturday, January 27th at 7pm vs Saint John in the annual Teddy Bear Toss in support of Ronald McDonald House. 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.