The Halifax Mooseheads ran their preseason record to 3-0 on Saturday afternoon in Dartmouth after an impressive 3-1 victory against the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Goalies Mathis Rousseau and Cole McLaren combined to form a standout tandem with the visiting Dogs firing 48 shots at the 16-year-old rookie and overage veteran. Rousseau, a fourth-round selection of the Herd in June, started and stopped all 17 shots he faced while McLaren put on a clinic with 30 saves in exactly 30 minutes of play to earn the win.
All four goals in the game were scored on the power play with the Sea Dogs cracking a scoreless battle 6:59 into the third period during a two-man advantage. Nicolas Girouard got the goal by knocking in his own rebound for his first of the preseason. The Mooseheads responded with the equalizer 5:07 later when rookie Markus Vidicek drove hard down the right side and cut to the net, beating Carmine-Anthony Pagliarulo on a great individual effort. The goal came with Dawson Stairs sitting in the box after a hit to the head on Samuel Dube. Jake Furlong and Cole McLaren picked up the assists on Vidicek’s first goal in a Moose uniform.
The Herd struck again quickly on the man advantage as Zachary L’Heureux notched the game-winner only 98 seconds after the Vidicek marker. The second-year star picked up a loose puck in front of the crease after a nice play by Elliot Desnoyers to create the opportunity. Desnoyers was outstanding throughout the game and gave Halifax a little insurance with the final goal of the game at the 18:13 mark. He now has three points in his two exhibition games while centering the top line with L’Heureux and Jordan Dumais.
WATCH THE REPLAY ON YOUTUBE
There were plenty of hostilities between the two Maritimes Division rivals who played what looked more like a regular season game than a preseason matchup. The Sea Dogs iced a very strong lineup with most of their top players with the exception of forward Brady Burns. Mooseheads General Manager Cam Russell is expected to make his first and only round of cuts of 2020 Training Camp Presented by Eastlink on Sunday morning.
Halifax played without rookie forward James Swan who remains day-to-day with an upper body injury after leaving Thursday’s game versus Cape Breton.
The next game for the Mooseheads will be against the Sea Dogs when they visit Saint John on September 13th. There is one preseason home game remaining on Saturday, September 26th at 4pm vs Charlottetown. The game against the Islanders will once again be shown on the Mooseheads YouTube channel.