Wildcats tie series in overtime
Halifax, N.S., native Taylor Burke scored the overtime-winning goal and the Moncton Wildcats knotted up their best-of-seven series with the Halifax Mooseheads 2-2.
Burke, 20, beat Halifax netminder Eric Brassard 16 minutes into the first overtime period lifting the Wildcats over the Mooseheads, 3-2, in Game 4.
The former Gatineau Olympiques captain saw his season ended by the Herd two years in a row. In 2012, Nathan MacKinnon led the Mooseheads over Burke and the Olympiques in four games. Last year, Jonathan Drouin and Nikolaj Ehlers burned Gatineau in five games to advance to the semifinals. Burke has four goals and 10 assists in 29 career playoff games.
Dominic Talbot-Tassi opened the scoring with his second of the series on the power play. The former Blainville-Boisbriand defenceman slapped the puck by a screened Brassard giving the visiting club the game’s first lead. The Wildcats struggled mightily with the man advantage in the first two games of the series going 0-for-9. The addition of Zack MacEwen to the first unit proved genius on the part of head coach Darren Rumble as Moncton went 3-for-4 on the power play in Game 3. The Wildcats finished 1-for-3 with the man advantage in Game 4.
Jacob Sweeney gave the Wildcats a two-goal lead in the final moments of the opening period. Sweeney leads all QMJHL defenceman with four goals in the postseason.
The Mooseheads were unable to solve Wildcats netminder Alex Dubeau until the final few minutes of the second period.
Timo Meier fired a wrist shot by the overage goaltender cutting the Wildcats lead to two. Moments later, Kelly Bent tallied his first of the playoffs off the rush. Ehlers, Samuel Leblanc and Taylor Ford collected assists for the Mooseheads.
The two clubs traded chances in the extra period. Halifax came into Game 4 with a playoff overtime record of 2-1 while the Wildcats were yet to be involved in an overtime period in the postseason.
Brassard faced 40 shots for the fourth time in the playoffs. The Longueuil, Que., product turned aside 37 Wildcats tries in a losing cause. Dubeau stopped 35 Mooseheads shots for his sixth win of the postseason.
The series shifts to Fredericton, N.B., for Game 5. Due to a scheduling conflict at the Moncton Coliseum, the Wildcats will host the Mooseheads at the Aitken Centre on Friday at 7 p.m. ADT.
Photo: Shawn Davidson, TQN