QMJHL

Moose Talk Monday

The reaction to MacKinnon's 4th goal, after a review.

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

By: Henry Whitfield 

Another edition of Moose Talk Monday and the Halifax Mooseheads just keep on rolling.

Gabriel Desjardins took over Friday night’s battle with the Gatineau Olympiques, playing the best game of his QMJHL career, scoring a natural hat-trick during the second period in the process.

Not to be outdone, Cole Harbour native Nathan MacKinnon stole the spotlight bringing his team back from a two goal deficit against the high-flying Quebec Remparts, scoring 5 goals on the night and becoming the first rookie to score that many goals in a game in almost a decade in the QMJHL.

To top the display off, MacKinnon scored four of those goal on Louis Domingue, one of the goalies invited to Canada’s World Junior camp, ironic after he was snubbed last week by the very same selection committee.

The MacKinnon Factor

Less than a week after a snub from Canada’s World Junior Hockey Camp, in a game against the nationally ranked Quebec Remparts and with a one-on-one battle against fellow standout rookie Mikhail Grigorenko and Nathan MacKinnon not only stole the spotlight, he grabbed it and sprinted away far into the distance with it.

During a night that many in Moose Country will remember for a very long time, MacKinnon scored five highlight reel goals and finally gave Mooseheads faithful something to cheer about.

Three long, hard years were made so much easier as MacKinnon scored goal after goal and then iced the game with an empty netter after dancing around a number of Remparts players.

The fans immediately stood, giving the 16-year old rookie a standing ovation that lasted for the last minute of the game.

Only one question was left unanswered after the game: How did this kid not get an invite to Team Canada’s World Junior selection camp?

Erasing History

Picking up their 19th win over the season against the Remparts, the Mooseheads have now tied their total wins from the 2008/09 season and with one more will tie how many they had in 2010/11.

With 39 games left, the Franchise record of 46 wins set in the 1998/99 season is a target that the team may have in its sights come March. Currently with a winning percentage of .707, staying on that path the Mooseheads would finish with 27 more wins, finishing with 46.

With players still to return to the lineup from injury and last season’s top returning scorer yet to hit the ice, that record could very well be broken.

Drouin Watch

Everyone is getting tired of the Drouin Saga, who missed games recently due to a groin injury, but we were able to debunk the photo that ran of the stick rack from a few weeks ago.

The reason that Drouin’s stick is present is due to the fact they were ordered pre-training camp and our very own #27 Brad Cuzner has been using the stick.

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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Monday Morning at 10am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.
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Moose Talk Monday

Fucale has carried a heavy workload so far in Halifax.

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

MooseTalk Monday

Weekend Recap

A busy weekend saw the young Herd playing three games in three nights, Drummondville Friday, Quebec Saturday and Rimouski on Sunday.

After digging deep to beat Drummondville Friday, the Moose were rolled over Saturday against the Remparts, losing 6-1 in a game that saw the Quebec team dominate from start to finish.

Sunday the Mooseheads responded with a big effort, scrapping together a 2-1 win over the Rimouski, a game that saw Andrew Ryan score his first goal of the season after breaking his ankle in training camp.

The Mooseheads had five different scorers over the weekend, with Ryan making an instant impact in his return to the lineup. The second-year forward, a former 19th overall pick in the QMJHL draft, was a -1 over the weekend.

Nathan MacKinnon failed to hit the back of the net all weekend, but chipped in three assists and now trails Mikhail Grigorenko by six points in the Rookie scoring race and sits 13th overall in the Q.

Zachary Fucale started all three games, but was pulled for the final 12-minutes against the Remparts. Fucale stopped 84 shots over the weekend, picking up his 10th win over the season over Rimouski on Sunday.

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Injury Update

Martin Frk [F] – Concussion

Trey Lewis [D] – Concussion*

Steve Gillard [D]  – Concussion*

Darcy Ashley [F]  – Concussion*

Anthony Terenzio [G] – Concussion

*Concussion like symptoms

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Team Leaders

Goals – MacKinnon (12)

Assists – MacKinnon (23)

+/- – Desmond (+9)

PIM – Hannay (47)

Shots – MacKinnon (84)

Faceoffs – Andrews (59%)

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The Halifax Mooseheads sit 6th in the QMJHL and hold a 15-7-1-1 record, but have played the least amount of games of all QMJHL teams with just 24. Their next game is Thursday night, when they host provincial rival Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Monday Morning at 10am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

Mooseheads Split Weekend, Beat Remparts

 

 

 

Grenier was named first star and scored the OT winner

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

A night after the Saint John Sea Dogs rolled through town with a 5 – 0 win, the Halifax Mooseheads stood tall and worked hard for four periods to beat the Quebec Remparts 4-3 late in overtime.

 

Alexandre Grenier scored his second goal of the night to seal the win, a goal he celebrated with exuberance in front of the 6,003 fans at the Metro Center.

 

Nathan MacKinnon, playing in front of a number of NHL Scouts, wasted no time making up for a quiet game the night before and scored after a nice play by Luca Ciampini set him up alone in front of the Remparts goalie.

 

The high-flying Remparts answered back soon after, Rookie Anthony Duclair scoring on a play created by Russian phenom Mikhail Grigorenko and Mikael Tam.

 

Zachary Fucale then took over, coming up big for a Mooseheads team that couldn’t stay out of the box all night, making 26 saves and picking up the win.

 

With just seconds left in the second period Grenier gave the home team the lead after tipping a MacKinnon shot from the slot, the play was reviewed but deemed a good goal.

 

Mathieu Boudreau would give the Mooseheads a 3-1 lead on the powerplay to start the third period, before the Remparts clawed one back on a goal by Frederick Roy.

 

Midway through the third period a rash of blown calls and a hit from behind call against Cameron Critchlow had the fans and bench incensed, before Dominque Ducharme unleashed his frustration on the referees and earned his team a bench minor.

 

On the following powerplay, Mikhail Grigorenk scored a high-light reel goal and sent the game to overtime, where a holding call against Owen Werthner left the Mooseheads on the powerplay with just over two minutes left in the game.

 

Grenier ended the game with a quick shot from the point, skating to center ice as he pumped his Mooseheads Jersey before being mobbed by his teammates.

 

The game leaves Nathan MacKinnon and Mikhail Grigorenko tied amongst rookies for the most points, each with 23 points.

 

The win moved the Halifax Mooseheads up to 2nd place in the Maritimes Division, just four points behind the Memorial Cup Champion Sea Dogs who have played two more games than the Herd.

 

The Mooseheads head on the road to face the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada before back to back games against the Val D’or Foreurs.

 

 

Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Monday Morning at 10am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mooseheads Face a Tough Weekend

MacKinnon has lead the Mooseheads offence so far this season.

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

The Halifax Mooseheads have been rolling along the last five games, putting together a win streak that the Moose faithful have been craving for years.

This weekend the young Herd face a tough test when they welcome the Saint John Sea Dogs to town on Friday night and Patrick Roy’s Quebec Remparts Saturday.

Friday night is Pink in the Rink at the Metro Center and while the Mooseheads hold a losing record when the ice is tinted pink, they will be hoping to get a big win over Jonathan Huberdeau and company.

Both teams are enjoying success early on and the Mooseheads have been riding a scoring tandem of Nathan MacKinnon and Darcy Ashley.

Zack Phillips and Danick Gauthier have lead the way for the Sea Dogs as they chase a second successive Memorial Cup, the return of Jonathan Huberdeau  adds even more depths to the champions and the Florida Panther prospect already has 8 points in just 5 games.

On Saturday, the Quebec Remparts come to town and the Mooseheads will get to see highly touted Russian forward Mikhail Grigorenko in action. The 2nd overall pick in this years CHL import draft, Grigorenko has been as advertised and leads his team with 21 points.

Saturday will also give the Mooseheads a chance to see Adam Erne in action, the young American forward was drafted by the Mooseheads and sent to Quebec in a trade that helped put together the MacKinnon trade.

Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Monday Morning at 10am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

Ashley Leads Mooseheads over Wildcats

Darcy Ashley scored four goals in a 7-1 blowout

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

It took four goals by Darcy Ashley, but the Halifax Mooseheads finally got the best of the Moncton Wildcats the way of a 7-1 win.

Losers of the last 8 home games against the Wildcats, the Mooseheads rode a 12-point night from their top line and picked up a big win.

Despite taking a number of penalties in the first, the Moose took a 2-1 lead into the second period.

Ashley took over the game in the second frame, scoring a shorthanded goal and a powerplay goal, while Nathan MacKinnon added his third of the season.

Ahead 5-1 heading into the third, Ashley added his fourth goal and seventh of the season before Captain Cameron Critchlow added the finishing touches while on the man advantage.

With a blowout score, the final frame turned into a choppy affair and it was four goal scorer Ashley who dropped the gloves with Scott Trask midway through the period. Trask got the better of Ashley but the the crowd sounded their approval as the Summerside, PEI native left the penalty box.

At the end of the game Patrick Delisle-Houde threw a hit after the final whistle on Brent Andrews and the Halifax forward was quick to drop his gloves, while Sawyer Hannay pair off with Ryan Penny.

A big win for the Mooseheads should give the young Herd confidence heading into Sunday’s Thanksgiving game against the high-flying Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, however, the team may be without defenceman Steve Gillard who left the game due to an eye injury.

Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Morning at 11. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game

MacKinnon Leads Team Red to 4-1 Win

Boudreau had a solid night as he fights for a roster spot

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

Moose Country got their first look at Nathan MacKinnon today and he impressed with a goal and three assists, playing a big role leading Team Red to a 4-1 win.

Fellow Rookie forward Alexandre Sills picked up two goals courtesy of MacKinnon, while Konrad Abeltshauser added the fourth goal for Team Red.

Mathew Boudreau scored the lone goal for Team Green, scoring on an excellent individual effort.

Ryan Davis stood out early on, providing lots of energy on a line combination with Cameron Critchlow and Luca Ciampini, dishing some big hits and forechecking hard.

However, it was MacKinnon who stole the show and flashed the brilliance that made him such a highly touted forward for the Mooseheads in the off-season. The crowd erupted on his goal early in the third period, fighting past a static defenseman to slot the puck top shelf.

Abeltshauser started the 3rd Period lined up as a right winger and he

The two teams tied 2-2 in the shootout, with MacKinnon and MacKenzie Weeger scoring for Team Red and Mathew Boudreau and Brend Andrews replying for Team Green.

Standouts:

– Nathan MacKinnon, 1 Goal and 3 Assists

– Alexandre Sills, 2 Goals

– Ryan Davis, Big hits and lots of hustle, provided much needed energy to the lineup

Highlight of the Night: MacKinnon goal in the shootout.

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Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Morning at 11. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game

The Overager situation is Murky in Moosecountry

Randell may be done in the Red and Green.

By: Henry Whitfield

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

When the Halifax Mooseheads announced the acquisition of 20-year-old Cameron Critchlow yesterday,it bolstered their over-age player count to five heading into training camp.

Smart money says that late-blooming winger Grenier and the newly acquired gritty Critchlow are already penciled in, granted they don’t forget how to skate during training camp.

That would create a three-way battle for the third and final over-ager spot.

Defenceman Jonathan Parisien will face off with current Herd Captain Travis Randall and goalie Frederic Piche for that slot in the lineup.

With an embarrassment of young, talented forwards it is Moosehead veteran Randell who will face the toughest task to crack the opening night lineup. The Twillingate, Newfoundland native has played 248 games with the club, scoring just 39 goals, but half of those came in the 2009/2010 season when he played big minutes with scoring stud Tomas Knotek.

Piche had a tough season last year, picking up 14 wins in the first half with the Saint John Sea Dogs before being traded to the Mooseheads and adding just 3 wins through his last 20 games. Zachary Fucale was picked up in the dispersal draft and the 16-year-old could steal Piche’s chance to play back-up to Anthony Terenzio.

That leaves Parisien with perhaps the best chance to fill that final over age spot, the blue line seen as the weakest link for this young Mooseheads team.  The Laval, Quebec native played three seasons with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar before switching to the Lewiston MAINEiacs halfway through last season, gaining valuable playoff experience on the their run to the semi-finals.

Parisien would add much-needed experience to a young core on the backend that has struggled over the last three seasons, shoring up some big minutes and taking some pressure off the shoulders of Konrad Abeltshauser and Sawyer Hannay.

Luckily for both the organization and the players, each should fetch some trade value.

Meaning that Cam Russell has a chance to get value while letting the two play out their junior career.

Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Morning at 11. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game