Mooseheads explode in Game 6; force Game 7
Nikolaj Ehlers tallied four points and the Halifax Mooseheads defeated the Moncton Wildcats in Game 6 by a score of 7-5.
With the win, the Mooseheads have forced Game 7 in their best-of-seven, quarterfinal series with the Wildcats. The series-deciding game will take place in Moncton, N.B. on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Halifax began the game with a gigantic six-goal lead.
Resident tough guy Brandon Vuic opened the scoring six minutes into the first period. The second-year Moosehead beat Alex Dubeau with a backhand shot giving the home team a 1-0 lead. Vuic finished the afternoon with two goals on two shots.
Minutes later, Timo Meier scored his team-leading 10th of the playoffs. The Swiss import ranks fourth in the QMJHL postseason in goal-scoring in just his second year in the league. Meier leads the QMJHL with an impressive 57 shots on goal through 13 games played.
The Mooseheads power play took over late in the first and in the opening moments of the second period. Led by Ehlers, Halifax scored three consecutive power play goals increasing their lead to five and chasing Wildcats starting goaltender Dubeau. Philippe Gadoury and Vincent Watt – both of whom missed Game 5 with injuries – scored two of the Mooseheads’ three power play goals. Halifax’s power play ranks first in the postseason. With the man advantage, the Mooseheads have scored 18 goals on 49 opportunities.
The Wildcats finally got on the board midway through the second period. The visiting club scored two unanswered goals cutting the Mooseheads’ lead to four. Lane Cormier and Springhill, N.S. native Bronson Beaton were credited with the goals.
Ehlers regained the Mooseheads five-goal lead in the first minute of the third period. The Winnipeg Jets prospect leads all skaters in scoring in the QMJHL playoffs. Ehlers has an impressive 31 points in 13 games in the postseason. The Danish native leads not only the QMJHL postseason in scoring; he leads the entire CHL in postseason scoring this season. Connor McDavid of the OHL’s Erie Otters trails Ehlers by five points.
The Wildcats mounted a late-game comeback in the third period. Moncton scored three unanswered goals cutting the Mooseheads lead to just two. Cormier led the Wildcats comeback attempt with his second of the game. Jacob Sweeney and Conor Garland rounded out the scoring for the losing side.
Despite receiving great offensive support, Mooseheads netiminder, Eric Brassard, was solid. The 19-year-old turned aside 43 Wildcats shots picking up his seventh win of the postseason.
Dubeau stopped 10 shots before being replaced early in the second period. Jason Rioux made 17 saves in relief.
The two clubs will collide in a Game 7 for the first time since 2007.
Photo: Shawn Davidson, TQN