Mooseheads even series at the Forum

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Timo Meier erupted for two goals and an assist in the Halifax Mooseheads 4-3 defeat of the Shawinigan Cataractes at the Halifax Forum in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series.

With the victory, the Mooseheads tie the series at 2-2.

Taylor Ford opened the scoring two minutes into the first period with his first career QMJHL playoff goal. Nikolaj Ehlers found Ford uncontested with a precise pass. The first-year Mooseheads’ defenceman wired a slapshot by Marvin Cüpper giving the home team an early 1-0 lead. Fellow rookie Morgan Nauss drew assist as well.

The Mooseheads improved their lead to two goals in the late stages of the opening period. Cataractes’ Alex Pawelcyzk took a five-minute major penalty for a dangerous hit on Samuel Leblanc. Meier took advantage of the power play and avenged his fallen teammate scoring his second goal of the postseason. Danny Moynihan drew the lone assist on Meier’s goal. Leblanc did not return to the game.

Shawinigan got on the board in the final minute of the first. Brandon Gignac and Gabriel Slight connected on a two-on-one rush cutting the Mooseheads lead in half.

The two clubs traded goals in the second period.

Danny Moynihan knocked-in his team-leading fourth of the playoffs on the power play five minutes into the period. The Mooseheads’ power play currently ranks second in the QMJHL firing at 42.9 per cent. The special teams unit leads the league with eight goals. Halifax finished 13th on the power play in the regular season.

The Cataractes moved within a goal with a power play tally of their own. Slight found the back of the net for the second time beating Mooseheads netminder Eric Brassard. The towering Cataractes forward enjoyed a two-goal game in a regular season meeting between the two squads in February at the Scotiabank Centre.

Meier scored his second of the game eight minutes into the final period giving the Mooseheads their third two-goal lead on the evening. The Swiss forward neatly redirected a pass from Ehlers by Cüpper. Meier has three goals in two games after being shutout in Games 1 and 2 in Shawinigan, Que.

Dennis Yan rounded out the scoring in the final moments of regulation with Cüpper on the bench.

Brassard was stellar in net for the Mooseheads. The former Québec Rempart faced 49 shots stopping 46 of them. Brassard sits third in the league with a save percentage of 0.921 per cent. The 19-year-old goaltender has 143 saves through four games in these playoffs.

At the other end of the ice, Cüpper turned aside 35 Mooseheads tries. Cüpper boasts a save percentage of 0.922 per cent.

Brandon Vuic (suspended) and Samuel Hunter (injured) were absent from the Mooseheads lineup on Wednesday night.

Game 5 goes on Good Friday at 7 p.m. ADT at the Halifax Forum.

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