Shootout needed at Scotiabank Centre

Halifax, Mooseheads
Katie Whitty

The Halifax Mooseheads and Quebec Remparts put on an entertaining game for a lively crowd on Thursday night at Scotiabank Centre that saw the visitors skate away with a 6-5 shootout victory.

“They’re a really good defensive team and we were able to get five goals on them but I think we need to learn how to hold our leads,” said Mooseheads defenceman Cooper Jones.

The Mooseheads, now the highest scoring team in the QMJHL with 108 goals, scored three in the first period to jump out to a 3-1 advantage after 20 minutes. Connor Moynihan got the ball rolling early when he picked up his 16th of the season just 23 seconds into the game. Fellow American Cooper Jones had his shot from the point navigate through traffic to beat Remparts goalie Callum Booth 3:25 seconds later and the 6,359 fans were hopping.

Jones has his parents in town for the weekend from Bridgwater, MA and said it was nice to score knowing they were watching from the stands.

“That was nice but I just wish we could have got the win to top it off.”

The Remparts got one back from Jonathan Bourcier when the 20-year-old scored on the power play to cut the lead in half. Halifax veteran Bradley Kennedy replied with a goal of his own during a man advantage to restore the 2-goal lead before the end of the period with Jones and Benoit-Olivier Groulx picking up the assists. It was Groulx’s second assist of the game as the young forward put together an impressive outing to earn the first star nod.

“I think we played a pretty good game in general but we just need to keep it up,” he said when talking about coughing up a two-goal lead.

The Mooseheads offense was buzzing all night as the young team fired 47 shots on Booth only to come out on the losing end. The teams has now scored at least five goals on seven straight games. Groulx said no one expected Halifax to be this dangerous.

“We have a young team but I think our chemistry is probably the best in the league.”

The teams each scored twice in the middle stanza including the second power play tally of the night for Quebec’s Bourcier while Nico Hischier, Jocktan Chainey and Connor Moynihan were all in on both Herd markers.

Matthew Boucher cashed in with a nice shot following a Moose turnover at 6:41 of the third period while Olivier Garneau tied the game on a shot from a tough angle near the midway point of the period.

After a thrilling back-and-forth overtime went scoreless, Quebec secured the win on Bourcier’s lone shootout goal.

Jocktan Chainey picked up the second star with two points and Remparts defenceman Ross MacDougall’s four assists earned him the nod for third star.

Booth made 42 saves for the win while Alex Gravel was tagged with the loss after stopping 21 of 26 shots.

The Pat Connolly Press Box was full with approximately 25 scouts in attendance, including Toronto Maple Leafs Assistant GM Mark Hunter. The hot start to the season by Hischier has brought a noticeable increase in attention to the team of late. The Swiss rookie’s 43 points is two back of Max Fortier’s league best 45.

The point gained with the shootout loss pulls the Herd into a tie for sixth in the overall standings with Charlottetown at 27 points. Quebec remains fifth overall with 30 points.

Halifax will play at home again on Sunday afternoon at 3pm against the 9-15 Moncton Wildcats.

Tickets are available now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office at Scotiabank Centre, select Superstore Outlets, or by phone at 902-451-1221.

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