Somppi brings the excitement in 6-1 Halifax win
“We’ve seen Otto do that in practice all the time.”
Mooseheads Assistant Coach Jon Greenwood couldn’t help but smile when talking about an incredible highlight reel goal scored by Otto Somppi in the Mooseheads 6-1 victory over the Shawinigan Cataractes on Sunday afternoon.
“The goal” had the building buzzing for all 7,371 in attendance and blew up the internet simultaneously as the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect picked up the puck lacrosse-style behind the Cataractes net and whipped around to tuck it in behind goalie Lucas Fitzpatrick. It was actually Somppi’s second goal in 18 seconds as he tallied on the power play just moments earlier. His 20th and 21st of the season gave the Herd a 2-0 lead just 5:27 into the first period and earned him first star status.
— Halifax Mooseheads (@HFXMooseheads) February 11, 2018
“Actually I’ve wanted to do that for like the last five years. I’ve tried it a couple of times in practice but it was a good opportunity to do it and it worked out,” Somppi said.
The victory was full of milestones for the Mooseheads, who more importantly snapped a two-game losing skid in emphatic fashion. Halifax took advantage of a Quebec-based team that was finishing their three-game weekend road trip that made stops in Bathurst and Saint John before coming to Scotiabank Centre. Somppi may have had one of the nicest goals in team history but Maxime Fortier also scored twice to reach the 100 goal plateau for his career. He becomes only the fourth player in franchise history to crack the century mark. Alex Tanguay had 101, Jason King scored 114 and Brandon Benedict leads the way with 119. Fortier has 13 regular season games left in his Junior career to try to chase them down.
Jared McIsaac tied a team-record for assists by a defenceman in one game with four. He helped to set up both Somppi goals along with tallies by Fortier and Jake Ryczek. The NHL Draft eligible McIsaac downplayed his statistics and preferred to talk about the all around effort by his team.
“We played a full 60 minutes which was nice and it was a good bounce back game from Friday for all of the guys,” McIsaac said after.
Arnaud Durandeau had the other Halifax goal while Alex Gravel picked up the win between the pipes with 16 saves. The play of the Mooseheads goalie was not lost on McIsaac who thought it was a key factor in the victory.
“It was good to get Gravel back in the win column. He played great tonight and you know really made some big saves for us.”
The Mooseheads were up 4-0 after Fortier first goal of the night at 14:51 of the middle period. Shawinigan got on the board during a two-man advantage as Anthony Imbeault scored at the side of the net with 1:25 to play in the second. Unassisted goals by Durandeau and Fortier capped things off in the third as Halifax improved to 35-13-6-1. Filip Zadina (2), Raphael Lavoie and Benoit-Olivier Groulx had the other assists besides the four-spot by McIsaac.
The next game for the Herd is once again on home ice as they host the Moncton Wildcats Friday night at 7pm at Scotiabank Centre. 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.