Zadina & Parent help Herd tame the Dogs
If first impressions mean everything, than a few Mooseheads rookies did a great job playing in their first game at Scotiabank Centre on Friday night in Halifax. Filip Zadina and Xavier Parent each had one goal and one assist while Kyle Petten also scored and the Mooseheads took down the Saint John Sea Dogs 4-3 in the final pre-season game for both teams.
Zadina, the Mooseheads prized CHL Import prospect, showed why he is considered to be a top 10 NHL Draft pick next June by assisting on a nice give-and-go with Benoit-Olivier Groulx to open the scoring in the first period and later scoring a highlight reel short-handed goal midway through the second period to give Halifax a 2-0 advantage.
“I saw the puck and I tried to fake a shot and then tried to go top shelf and I scored so it was a very happy moment for me,” said a smiling Zadina after the game.
The Sea Dogs got on the board 2:13 after Zadina’s tally when forward Anthony Boucher lifted a backhander by Herd goalie Alex Gravel for a short-handed marker of his own. Halifax had an answer for everything Saint John did in the game and Xavier Parent restored the two-goal cushion with under a minute to play in the second period on the man-advantage. Parent, who also assisted on the Zadina goal, was extremely effective in the game by using his speed and tenacious style of play to create multiple offensive opportunities.
Alexandre Lafreniere once again brought Saint John to within a goal midway through the final period but veteran Joel Bishop hooked up with fellow Newfoundlander Kyle Petten who sent quick wrist shot from between the circles for what turned out to be the game-winning goal. William Poirier scored with 27 seconds left in regulation after banging away at a loose puck in front of Gravel to round out the scoring.
Overall Head Coach Jim Midgley was pleased with the effort by his club but said there are some things to work on heading into the regular season.
“There’s a lot of positives and obviously we’re happy with the result but we still need to tidy up a lot of things. We felt as a group we gave up way too many shots.”
Goaltender Alex Gravel was definitely a major factor in the Mooseheads victory as he faced 42 shots and finished with 39 saves against a Sea Dogs team that did not have star player Joe Veleno in the lineup.
“Hats off to Gravel who was real good. He kept us in it in the first period. We were one-hundred percent on our PK and he was probably our best penalty killer too,” Midgley said.
The Mooseheads successfully killed off all six Sea Dogs power plays while Halifax finished 1-4 with the man-advantage. Joel Goguen stopped 19 of 23 in the Saint John net in a feisty game that saw multiple scrums and a pair of fights. Joel Bishop and Connor Moynihan both dropped the gloves for the Herd with Moynihan picking up an Agressor penalty and a game misconduct.
The Mooseheads got assists from Parent, Zadina, Bishop, Fearghus MacDonald and Jared McIsaac. MacDonald was one of five call ups for the team with a number of players away at NHL training camps, defenceman Patty Kyte out with an injury and forward Barrett Dachyshyn serving a one-game suspension. Gavin Hart, Caleb Rich, Cole Waugh and Curtis Heffernan were the other call ups.
These two Maritime Division rivals will renew acquaintances when the season begins for real next Thursday night at Harbour Station in the Sea Dogs’ home opener. The Mooseheads will play three road games before coming back to Scotiabank Centre for their own home opener on Saturday, September 30th at 7:00pm against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, the Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square, www.TicketAtlantic.com or charge by phone 451-1221.