(Photo Credit: Richard Lafortune)
By Henry Whitfield
The Mooseheads headed into their opening set of games this weekend hoping to get the season started on a positive note.
Missing three key players, with goaltender Mathieu Corbeil, defencemen Konrad Abeltshauser and Sawyer Hannay at NHL training camps, the pressure was on the 11 rookies in the Herd squad to pick up the slack.
The Mooseheads dropped their opening night game 3-2 to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, but strong play by Darcy Ashley and Alex Souligny gave the fans a glimpse at the future. Veterans Gerrad Grant and Pascal Amyot each added goals, while newly acquired Marty Frk picked up his first two points in Moose Country and was named the first star.
The game featured some classic Moose grit with Alex Lemieux, Trey Lewis and Simon Desmarais all dropping the gloves.
Peter Delmas had 22 saves in the loss, while the Mooseheads outshot the Screaming Eagles 31-25.
Saturday night, the Mooseheads attempted to rebound against League favourites Acadie-Bathurst Titan but despite two rookies opening their scoring accounts, it ended a 5-3 loss for the Herd.
With a crowd of 4,822 watching, the Halifax Mooseheads came out hard and looked strong for the opening moments of the game, but some bad penalties cost the Moose as they headed into the second period down by a goal.
Bryce Milson had opened the scoring on the powerplay and Vincent Arseneau added a second for the Titan late in the period. It was Carl Gelinas who answered for the Moose, after being setup by Marty Frk, the winger went around goaltender Dereck Tait and scored a highlight reel goal.
The second period gave Moose Country a glimpse of the future.
Moose top draft pick Luca Ciampini showed some excellent hand eye co-ordination to bat the puck out of the air and pick up his first QMJHL goal. Less than a minute later Moose Country erupted when Marty Frk scored his first goal after being set up by Carl Gelinas. With the Metro Centre buzzing the Moose carried the play for the rest of the second period and headed into the third with a 3-2 lead.
However, the youth and inexperience came through in the third when they let the lead slip away and after a series of bad penalties, they were trailing 5-3.
Peter Delmas will be ruing his chances, giving up 5 goals on 22 shots, while his counterpart Dereck Tait had 24 saves.
Winless in their opening weekend, the Mooseheads head to the road for their next six games and return home October 1st to host Saint John.
Henry Whitfield is a local journalist and avid Mooseheads fan, you can follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield, listen to him as a regular contributer to the Bill McLean Sports Show on CKDU or check out his blog here.