Mooseheads fans were treated to thrilling, high-scoring affair at Scotiabank Centre on Sunday afternoon as Halifax and Saint John combined for 16 goals in a 9-7 Sea Dogs victory in front of a crowd of 7,849.
Halifax nearly fought back to tie the game by pouring on the pressure in the third period. Kevin Gursoy pulled his team to within one goal when he scored his second of the game with the Mooseheads net empty at the other end of the ice. The goal came at the 18:42 mark of the period and the Herd kept coming and almost got the equalizer during a goal mouth scramble. Unfortunately for the home team, Dawson Stairs iced the game with an empty net goal with only 4 seconds and change left on the clock.
Overall the Mooseheads were happy with the way they played by firing 42 shots on Sea Dogs goalie Zachary Bouthillier but at times couldn’t get the stops they needed in their own end. Starting goalie Cole McLaren was chased just 1:44 into the second period after allowing four goals on 10 shots while call-up Alec MacVicar played the remainder of the game in his Mooseheads debut and gave up four goals on 13 shots. MacVicar was needed after Alex Gravel went down with an upper body on Friday. The Dartmouth native has a 15-3 record this season with the Summerside Western Capitals. He was added as a free agent affiliate of the Mooseheads earlier this season.
Gavin Hart scored twice for Halifax with his second of the game coming during a four-goal third period outburst by the Herd that brought some excitement into the building. He was named the first star despite the eighth consecutive loss for the Mooseheads who remain four points behind Gatineau for the final playoff berth in the QMJHL. The Herd had multi-point outings from Hart, Gursoy, Jason Horvath, D’Artagnan Joly and Zack Jones. Jones had three assists in the defeat. Gursoy’s two goals put him over the century mark for career points with 101 in 177 games split between Halifax, Saint John and Charlottetown.
The injury and sickness bug has struck the Mooseheads lately which had six regulars out of the lineup on Sunday. Denis Toner and Alexandre David missed their second straight game with an illness while Justin Barron, Samuel Dube, Alex Gravel and Kyle Petten sat out with their respective injuries.
Saint John was led on offence by Maxim Cajkovic’s hat trick while defenceman William Villeneuve had a four point night with one goal and three assists. Jeffrey Durocher and Joshua Roy both chipped in with one goal and two assists each.
The Mooseheads were loading their bus immediately after the game to make tracks for Moncton where they will face the Wildcats on Monday afternoon in a holiday battle. Halifax returns home to face off with Alexis Lafreniere and the Rimouski Oceanic on Thursday night at 7pm.
Tickets are available at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore outlets, TicketAtlantic.com or charge by phone 902-451-1221.