The Mooseheads wrapped up the 2015 calendar year with as much excitement as possible at Scotiabank Centre on Thursday night with a huge come-from-behind 5-4 overtime victory over the rival Screaming Eagles in the Battle of Nova Scotia.
Otto Somppi had the rafters of the arena shaking after he tipped in Danny Moynihan’s shot on the power play to send the Mooseheads players over the boards and onto the ice in an early New Year’s Eve celebration.
The goal was Somppi’s second of the night and sixth of the season and it capped off a comeback from a late two-goal deficit.
“A great end to the year right there, a great win all the boys were happy and we’re going to have a fun time,” Connor Moynihan said moments after being named second star in the victory.
The rugged winger was called upon by the coaching staff to play defence with only five regular blueliners dressed for the game. Moynihan was up to the task with four hits and one assist.
Halifax jumped out to a 2-0 lead before five minutes had been played in the game as Taylor Ford and Somppi got the crowd of 7,426 into it early, but Cape Breton fought back in the second edition of the Battle of Nova Scotia in three nights.
Phelix Martineau cut the lead in half before the end of the period and Anthony Sorrentino scored back-to-back goals in the second to put the Eagles in front 3-2.
Clark Bishop swatted in a rebound from inside the crease at the six-minute mark of the third period and Cape Breton appeared to be in complete control of the game holding a 4-2 advantage but Moynihan said his team did not quit.
“We definitely worked harder tonight and we deserved this one.”
The Mooseheads started to climb back into the game when Danny Moynihan found defenceman J-S Taillefer with a cross ice pass and Taillefer let a laser go from the point, beating goaltender Kyle Jessiman who had entered the game after Alex Belanger gave up the first two goals on just four shots.
The Taillefer goal gave the Mooseheads some momentum, and after Joel Bishop drew a hooking penalty and Jonathan Deschamps went off for delay of game Halifax was able to tie it up thanks to a newcomer on the back end.
Jocktan Chainey rifled a wrist shot through a crowd with only 1:12 remaining in regulation to pull the Herd even 4-4 as the crowd erupted with a thunderous roar.
(Above: Mooseheads newest defenceman Jocktan Chainey)
Cape Breton continued its late game discipline problems when Pierre-Luc Dubois took a 10 minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and Duncan MacIntyre went off for cross checking and Halifax took a power play into the overtime period.
Somppi sent the Moose fans into a frenzy just 1:18 into the OT with his tip-in goal with the Herd on the man advantage, capping off an exciting night and ending 2015 in style.
Danny Moynihan was dominant with four assists in the game while Max Fortier had two helpers and Andrew Shewfelt also chipped in with an assist.
Eric Brassard earned the win between the pipes by making 33 saves.
Halifax opens 2016 in Charlottetown on Sunday afternoon at 3pm before returning to Scotiabank Centre for a five-game homestand starting Tuesday night against the Islanders.
Tickets are sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office at Scotiabank Centre, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com or charge by phone at 902-451-1221.