A stretch of three games in three days might have caught up with the Mooseheads against a veteran squad in Bathurst on Sunday as the Herd seemed to run out of gas in a 5-4 loss to the Titan. Halifax surrendered three unanswered goals in the third period as Bathurst fought back from a 4-2 deficit to win the game and overtake the Mooseheads for first place in the Maritimes Division with 35 points.
Noah Dobson scored the winner on the man advantage at 16:25 of the third period with Jocktan Chainey watching from the penalty box where he sat for cross checking. The highly touted NHL draft eligible defenceman skated toward the net and let a wrist shot fly from the slot that beat starting goalie Alex Gravel. The Mooseheads pushed hard in the final minute of play with the net empty and created some havoc around the Titan crease but time ran out to ensure the Herd wrapped up the three game trip with a 1-1-1 record.
Otto Somppi continued to play excellent hockey and scored twice in the game, his second goal coming early in the third period to put Halifax ahead 4-2 and seemingly in control. That’s when Acadie-Bathurst turned things around with goals from Antoine Morand and Cole Rafuse before the 10-minute mark and they outshot the tired Mooseheads 19-7 in the final frame. The Titan put 45 shots in total on Gravel who made some brilliant saves throughout the contest. He finished with 40 saves in the loss. Reilly Pickard stopped 25 of 29 for Bathurst.
There were plenty of positive take aways for the Mooseheads not only in this game but throughout the road trip and they will start the week fifth overall in the QMJHL with 34 points thanks to a 15-8-4-0 record through 27 games. Filip Zadina had an assist on Sunday to give him the league scoring lead with 38 points. Somppi tacked on an assist with his two goals for a three point output which was matched by linemate Raphael Lavoie who scored once and added two assists.
Halifax had a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes on goals from Captain Max Fortier and an absolute beauty from Lavoie who made some nice moves as he came down his off wing and cut out in front to beat Pickard for his seventh of the season. Bathurst found a way to fight back in the second period with back-to-back goals from Adam Holwell and Antoine Morand. Somppi then put the Moose back in front 3-2 on the power play with 4:29 remaining in the period.
Dobson was named the first star as he had the game winning goal and a pair of assists. Adam Holwell’s goal gave him the second star and the third star went to Antoine Morand who notched a pair of goals.
The next home game at Scotiabank Centre is scheduled for Friday, December 1st vs Rouyn-Noranda while the Mooseheads will also host Val d’Or on Saturday, December 2nd in the first ever Nurse Appreciation Night. Both games are 7pm starts. 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.