The Halifax Mooseheads wrapped up the 2015-2016 QMJHL regular season on Saturday evening in Charlottetown with a 5-2 loss to the Islanders at the Eastlink Centre.
Joel Bishop and Morgan Nauss tallied the final goals of the season for the young team that is looking forward to an exciting off-season that will see them involved in a coin flip for the first overall pick at the QMJHL Entry Draft as well as adding the sixth overall selection at the CHL Import Draft in June.
Saturday’s matchup was the final game in the QMJHL careers of Kelly Bent, Zack Taylor and Eric Brassard who leave the Mooseheads as the graduating 20-year-old players. All three were on the ice for the final faceoff and moments of the season as the horn brought an end to the year in Charlottetown.
The Islanders got a pair of goals from Bridgewater native Keith Getson to help the team finish in eighth place overall which gives them home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs against Rimouski. Bradley Kennedy and Kameron Kielly had the other Charlottetown tallies.
Grabbing assists for the Moose were Otto Somppi, Max Fortier, Cooper Jones and Connor Moynihan.
Fortier captured the team scoring title this season with 77 points including 31 goals and 46 assists. That’s a 47 point increase from last year for the NHL draft-eligible forward.
Halifax will finish in 17th place with a record of 21-39-7-1 and will take their rebuilding stage to the next step on June 4th at the Entry Draft in Charlottetown where the team holds six of the top 36 selections. The Mooseheads will step to the podium three times in the opening round be it with the first or second overall pick (to be determined) then seventh overall (Quebec’s pick) and 15th (Shawinigan’s pick).
Eric Brassard stopped 32 of 36 shots in his final game and finishes with 3,388 saves in his four-year QMJHL career. The Longueuil, QC native will always be remembered for his incredible performance for Halifax during last season’s upset of the Shawinigan Cataractes in the first round of the playoffs which included a 60 save night at the historic Halifax Forum.
Kelly Bent calls it a day with the Herd after being able to finish his career in his hometown and with the team he dreamed of playing on when he was a youngster growing up in Halifax. The pesky tough guy on the ice with a heart of gold away from the rink won the hearts of Moose fans for his dedication to his team and fans during a two-year stint in Moose Country. Bent recorded 522 penalty minutes in his career that saw stops in P.E.I., Gatineau, Saint John and Halifax to go along with 36 points.
Zack Taylor had the shortest stay of the three players with the Mooseheads after being acquired mid-season from Shawinigan but fit in right away with the team in the locker room and assumed Assistant Captain’s duties. The defenceman scored a goal in his first game in Halifax against Rimouski and could be counted on for his dependable play on the back end. He had five goals and 25 assists in his four-year career and will continue his studies and hockey with the Dalhousie Tigers next season.
Today marks the end of a season for the Mooseheads but it also marks the beginning of some new territory with an exciting future waiting to be built by General Manager Cam Russell who will be a busy man this summer adding pieces to the next contender in Halifax.
The team will hold its Fan Farewell on Tuesday night from 6:30-8pm in the Scotiabank Centre lobby in front of the Box Office. Everyone is welcome to attend for a chance to talk with the players and receive autographs for the last time this season. It will be a fun event for all fans involved. Click here for info.