Spotlight on McIsaac vs Dobson battle
The ongoing fight atop the Maritimes Division between the Mooseheads and Titan looks like it could be here to stay for the duration of the season. These teams remain neck and neck as Friday night’s meeting at Scotiabank Centre marks the exact half-way point of the season for both clubs. Entering the matchup Halifax and Bathurst have 43 points apiece through 33 games with matching 0.652 winning percentages.
The first place battle might be all that is on the minds of the coaches and players but there is another very interesting battle brewing between two of the best NHL Draft eligible defencemen in Canada. The Mooseheads are led by star blueliner Jared McIsaac who is predicted to go very early in June’s draft in Dallas, Texas as is rising Titan star Noah Dobson. The two players will continue to showcase their talents to the scouts in attendance at Scotiabank Centre when the puck drops tomorrow night at 7pm.
McIsaac has been on the NHL draft radar for a long time and has remained a favourite to go in the first round while Dobson has been shooting up draft boards with his improved play this season. Both players are Maritimers with McIsaac growing up in Truro before moving to Dartmouth as a teenager where he played Midget hockey with Cole Harbour. Dobson is a Summerside, PEI native and took an alternative route to Junior hockey after going overseas to play for Red Bull Salzburg where he faced older competition in the U18 program. Both players have proved to be excellent defensively while possessing excellent offensive skills as well which has the NHL scouts salivating.
At 17-years-old the players are equally capable of running their respective power play units and are considered to be quality puck moving and mobile defencemen. McIsaac has scored three goals and 18 assists this season while Dobson comes into play with four goals and 27 assists. The Mooseheads’ young star has shown consistency since debuting in 2016 which will go a long way in the eyes of the NHL while Dobson’s hot start to this season has generated more discussion than previously expected. Either way you look at it, these are two excellent prospects that are playing in our own backyard. Fans will have a good chance to form their own opinions when they face off tomorrow night at Scotiabank Centre.
Halifax is 1-2 vs their division rivals this season and won the only previous meeting on home ice which came way back on September 30th in the home opener when Filip Zadina scored twice and Arnaud Durandeau potted the winner midway through the third period in a 4-3 victory. The Titan captured the first meeting at KC Irving Regional Centre on September, 27th as Samuel L’Italien notched a hat trick and the Moose fell 5-3. The last time the teams met was on Sunday, November 26th in Bathurst in a game the Mooseheads felt they let get away. Halifax held a 4-2 lead in the third period but the Titan scored three straight including the winner by Dobson on the power play with 3:35 remaining in a 5-4 decision.
Russian import forward German Rubstov is expected to return from injury for the Titan who recently acquired the sniper from Chicoutimi in a big trade that involved three players and four high draft picks. The Philadelphia Flyers’ first round pick has produced 13 points in his 12 games in a Bathurst uniform. Halifax Captain Max Fortier will be a game-time decision and is listed as day-to-day after getting cut on the leg last weekend.
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.