Tuesday night’s meeting between Halifax and the Olympiques at the Centre Robert-Guertin in Gatineau tuned out to be a goaltending duel as Alex Gravel and the Mooseheads came away with the victory in a 1-0 shutout.
Gravel made 22 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, Keith Getson scored the only goal of the game and the Mooseheads improved to an Eastern Conference best 46-14-2-1. The 95 points for the Herd puts the team three points ahead of Baie-Comeau in the standings for the number one seed in the conference. The Drakkar have a game-in-hand and will face Drummondville on Wednesday. Halifax has five games remaining in the regular season.
Creed Jones faced plenty of rubber in the game with the Moose throwing 41 shots at him but he was out-dueled by Gravel who has moved into a tie with J-S Giguere for second in career franchise wins by a goalie with 68. The shutout was Gravel’s sixth of his career which helped him pass Giguere and move into a tie with Jason Churchill for third in team history.
Halifax couldn’t solve Jones until 4:54 into the third period when Keith Getson hammered away at a loose puck in front on the power play before finally getting it to cross the line. Arnaud Durandeau and Benoit-Olivier Groulx picked up the assists as a large contingent of Moose fans cheered loudly behind the Halifax bench. Groulx was playing in front of his hometown family and friends for the only time this season.
Coach Eric Veilleux’s squad went 1-for-4 on the power play which included a lengthy two-man advantage that spanned the end of the first period and start of the second. Gatineau’s Kieran Craig took a five minute major for boarding when he hit Patty Kyte from behind at 19:10 of the first period. Craig was also handed a game misconduct. Kyte left the game briefly with a cut on his face but was able to return. Charles-Antoine Roy was called for high sticking just two seconds later, much to the chagrin of the Olympiques fans, however the Mooseheads were not able to capitalize on the great opportunity.
The home team didn’t mount much pressure until the third period when they put 11 shots, half of their total, on Gravel who rebounded nicely after allowing five goals and getting pulled in a loss to Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday. Halifax was consistent in their attack throughout the night with 15 shots in the first period, 12 in the second and 14 in the third.
The Mooseheads snapped a two-game slide with the win as they wrapped up their road schedule in the province of Quebec. The team will fly back to Halifax on Wednesday before hitting the road to face Moncton on Saturday night and Saint John on Sunday afternoon.
The next home game for Halifax comes on Wednesday, March 13th at 7pm versus Moncton. The Moose will wrap up the season at home with games against Saint John on Friday, March 15th at 7pm and Saturday, March 16th at 4:30pm versus Charlottetown. Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com, the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square or charge by phone 902-451-1221.