A trip to Moncton to take on the struggling Wildcats was just what the Mooseheads needed as Halifax snapped a three-game slide with a convincing 7-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum.
Nico Hischier and Max Fortier combined for 10 points as the Mooseheads handed the rebuilding Cats their 17th straight loss. Halifax (24-23-2-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead before many fans had found their seats. Ben Higgins scored on the first shot of the game just 25 seconds after the puck drop with Fortier and Hischier picking up the assists. The Mooseheads top two scorers each found the net in the opening period and the Moose led 5-2 after 20 minutes as Walter Flower added a shorthanded goal while Otto Somppi made a nice move to kick the puck ahead before swatting it out of the air to beat starter Matthew Waite.
The Moose stars left their names all over the game sheet in this one as Hischier took the first star with two goals and three assists and Fortier earned the second star with one goal and four helpers. The potent duo will enter the week in second and third respectively in the QMHL scoring race as Fortier now has 78 points on the year and Hischier is on his tail with 76 albeit in just 43 games for the Swiss star. Tyler Boland of Rimouski is the league leader with 86.
Fortier isn’t thinking too much about the individual accolades though.
“We just want to win games and be consistent and if we do that the results will be there and we’ll be ready for the playoffs. That’s the most important thing for me.”
It didn’t take long for the Mooseheads to strike again in the second period as Higgins notched his second of the day only 17 seconds into the period to give the Moose a 6-2 lead and that spelled the end of the line for Waite who allowed six goals on 18 shots. Dominik Tmej came on in relief and stopped 25 of 26 shots as Hichier was the only player to beat him at 5:03 of the same period. Halifax put things on cruise control the rest of the way and Blade Mann-Dixon was solid with 28 saves in the victory.
Fortier was pleased the team was able to break out offensively on the road.
“It felt good obviously and I think that’s what happens when we work hard and play our system.”
Other Moose players picking up assists included; Jared McIsaac (2), Somppi, Jake Coughler, Connor Moynihan and Jocktan Chainey. Hischier has points in 12 of his last 13 games, totaling 29 points over that span.
With 16 games remaining in the regular season things get a whole lot tougher from here for the Herd who will visit the streaking Islanders on Friday night in Charlottetown. The Isles have won four in a row and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Halifax will square off with Charlottetown and the Sea Dogs four more times each before the playoffs begin.
The next home game for the Mooseheads is next Sunday, February 12th at 3:00pm when they host Cavan Fitzgerald and the Shawinigan Cataractes. Shawinigan is tied with Saint John and Rouyn-Noranda for top spot in the QMJHL standings with 70 points.
Tickets are available now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office at Scotiabank Centre, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com or by phone at 902-451-1221.