Max Fortier is beginning to blossom as a player before the eyes of the Mooseheads fans as his solid start to the 2015-2016 season continued on Saturday night at Scotiabank Centre.

The 18-year-old recorded his first career hat trick and added an assist in a 5-1 thumping of the Saint John Sea Dogs as the Mooseheads secured their first win of the year and improved to 1-2-0-1.

(Max Fortier scores a breakaway goal for his second of the night)

Fortier now has three goals and four assists to put him amongst the QMJHL scoring leaders and he certainly enjoyed every moment of the Halifax victory on Saturday.

“It’s always fun to contribute and we also got a huge first win so it was a good game for us,” He said moments after being named first star.

The Lachine, QC native said his club made a few minor changes to their game which resulted in a better outcome on the scoreboard.

“I don’t think we played bad yesterday (4-0 loss to Bathurst) but we took too many penalties and today to get that first goal I think everyone was just relaxed and ready to go.”

(L-R Fortier, Durandeau, Somppi)

It was also a big night on the stats sheet for rookie Otto Somppi who picked up three assists to give him six points on the season. The 17-year-old from Finland was named the game’s second star while fellow rookie Arnaud Durandeau grabbed third star honours after scoring his first career goal.

“It felt amazing,” Durandeau said.

“Those first three games I wanted to score right away but I’m just really happy I got it.”

Vince Watt had the other Mooseheads goal when he ripped a wrist shot past Saint John starting goaltender Alex Bishop just over a minute into the second period. Bishop was pulled in favour of Marc-Antoine Turcotte after he allowed three goals on just seven shots. Turcotte stopped 22 of 24 the rest of the way.

Halifax goaltender Eric Brassard had a shutout bid going until Ryan Chaisson lit the lamp 2:44 into the final period when he slapped in a rebound to cut the Herd lead to 3-1. It was all Mooseheads the rest of the way as the team left to a standing ovation from the 6,133 in attendance. Brassard made 21 saves.

The Mooseheads will continue their homestand next Friday night at 7pm when they host the Moncton Wildcats and will also entertain the provincial rival Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Sunday afternoon at 3pm.

Individual tickets to all Mooseheads home games are on sale to the general public at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, or by phone at 902-451-1221.

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