There wasn’t much to be happy about for the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday night at Scotiabank Centre. The Herd were thoroughly outplayed on home ice in a 5-0 loss to the Charlottetown Islanders in the first of back-to-back games in Halifax this weekend.
Cedric Desruisseaux and Thomas Casey led the attack for the visitors by scoring two goals each and both players also had one assist. Colten Ellis wasn’t heavily tested in the Islanders crease but made 25 saves for his 12th career shutout which places him in a tie for 12th all-time in the QMJHL.
The Islanders kept pace with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan atop the division as they improved to 4-1-0-0 on a night when the Titan also won their fourth game of the season. Halifax hasn’t won since opening night in Cape Breton and watched their record slip to 1-3-1-0. Cole McLaren made the start in goal and stopped 22 of the 26 shots he faced but didn’t get the support he needed in being tagged with the loss. It was his first game back after missing last Sunday’s road game with a lower body injury. Brady James took over to begin the third period and the rookie made 12 saves on 13 shots.
There was a fair amount of confrontational moments in the game including a heavyweight fight between Mooseheads defenceman Keegan Hunt and Isles winger Ben Boyd as some bad blood from the preseason resurfaced. Hunt suffered a knee injury and missed a few weeks of action after Boyd hit him from behind during the final preseason game in September. There was also a laundry list of penalties dished out at 7:39 of the third period after everyone on the ice except the goalies dropped the gloves in a rare line-brawl.
Charlottetown took control of the game in the early going when defenceman Noah Laaouan’s shot from inside the point beat McLaren two seconds after a penalty to Jordan Dumais expired. Desruisseaux and Casey scored their first goals of the game before the end of the period as the Islanders stormed out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. The visitors hustled hard, as the Jim Hulton-led teams are known to do, and consistently won races to the puck and board battles throughout the night. The first star Desruisseux added some extra insurance in the second period and Casey tacked onto the lead late in the third for the victory. Islanders Captain Brett Budgell also had a multi-point night with two assists.
The Mooseheads went 0-8 on the power play as they couldn’t get on the same page and create much for offensive opportunities while Charlottetown ended up with two goals on five chances with the man advantage.
Halifax will need to shake it off quickly as they return to home ice Saturday night at 7pm against the Saint John Sea Dogs. Tickets are on sale now at TicketAtlantic.com or charge by phone 902-451-1221.