Mooseheads Break More than Glass in 5-2 Win over Titan
The Halifax Mooseheads rode into Bathurst having won four of its last five games and pulled off the unthinkable. Not only did they break the glass board behind the Titan net, not only did Mooseheads goaltender Zachary Fucale break his stick in the third period, the Mooseheads did something much more impressive. They broke the Acadie-Bathurst Titan’s offense. While it’s common to see a team held without a goal in either a period or an entire game, it is extremely rare that a team is ever held without a shot on goal during an entire 20 minute period. For the 1,900 in attendance tonight in Bathurst, they were witness to such an event.
The Titan got things started on the right foot with Raphaël Lafontaine scoring his seventh goal of the season while on the powerplay at the 10:39 mark of the first period. Alexandre Gosselin and Dominic Beauchemin were credited with the assists on the marker. Halifax would manage to tie it up less than three minutes later as Timo Meier took a pass from Darcy Ashley to score his sixth of the season at the 13:05 mark. Jonathan Drouin picked up the other assist as the teams went into the break knotted at 1. Shots on goal were 19-9 in favour of the Mooseheads.
The second period opened with MacKenzie Weegar flipping a loose puck over a sprawled out Jacob Brennan just 3:37 into the middle stanza while on the powerplay. Nikolaj Ehlers and Andrew Ryan assisted on Weegar’s third of the year. At the 8:02 mark, Brent Andrews made it 3-1 for the reigning Memorial Cup Champions scoring his sixth of the year with Nikolaj Ehlers getting the only assist. The Mooseheads would increase their lead to 4-1 as Meier banged home a one-timer to score his second of the game and seventh of the year at the 11:49 mark of the period. Jonathan Drouin and Ashley were credited with the assists. While on a 5-on-3 powerplay, Alexandros Soumakis made it a 4-2 game with a blast from the point for his seventh of the year. Patrik Zdrahal and Adam Chapman were given assists on the goal as the Mooseheads would take a 4-2 lead into the second intermission. Shots on goal for the second period were 15-8 in favour of the Mooseheads.
The third period saw just one goal scored, and it was while Halifax was a man down. At the 9:02 mark of the final frame, Austyn Hardie scored his first goal of the season with some superb passing from Drouin and Ashley that sealed the game for the Mooseheads with a 5-2 score. The Mooseheads applied near-perfect defensive pressure to the point that outside of three chances, the Titan as held to no shots on goal in the third while the Mooseheads were able to land an additional 10 shots in the period. The final shot count came to 44-17 in favour of the Mooseheads.
Zachary Fucale got the start in net for the Mooseheads and stopped 15 of the 17 shots he faced to improve his record to 10-4-0 on the year. Jacob Brennan was who the Titan went with and stopped 39 of the 44 shots that found their way to him, but saw his record drop to 4-5-2 this season.
Special teams saw the Mooseheads go 1-for-4 on the powerplay and were successful in fending off 4-of-6 penalty kill situations and scoring once while short-handed. For the Titan, they were 2-for-6 on the powerplay and successful in 3-of-4 penalty kill situations, however they did allow one short-handed goal.
The 3 Stars of the Game were:
3rd Star – Nikolaj Ehlers (HAL) – 2A, +1, 5 shots, 2PiM, 4 hits
2nd Star – Jacob Brennan (BAT) – L, 60:00, 39/44 saves, 0.886 SV%
1st Star – Jonathan Drouin (HAL) – 3A, +3, 3 shots, 8/14 FO
These two teams square off again Saturday night on the back-end of this home-and-home series, only this time it will be in Halifax at the Metro Centre. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Atlantic.