Mooseheads

Moose 3 Stars of the Week

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(By: Henry Whitfield)

Halifax exploded last week with 23 goals in four games, beating PEI twice and both Shawinigan and Moncton.

Despite missing star Nathan MacKinnon due to an injury, the team didn’t skip a beat and continues to roll past opponents.

Jonathan Drouin was named 3rd Star of the Q this week, after having a monster offensive output and adding much needed depth Mathew Boudreau and Luca Ciampini combined for 2 goals, 13 assists and a +14 over four games.

Halifax continues to sit 2nd in CHL Rankings and leads the QMJHL with a 42-6-2-1 record so far this season.

 

Sportstream Moose 3 Stars of the Week

3rd Star – Halifax Defence – (4 Goals, 9 Assists, +27, 25 Shots Taken)

The Mooseheads defensive unit saw 8 different players dress over four games but continued to show growth and dominate offensively. A whopping +27 through the week and they added 13 points on their 25 shots taken. Konrad Abeltshauser, Matt Murphy, Brian Lovell and Brennan Bailey all scored to combine for the D’s four goals

2nd Star – Zachary Fucale (105 Shots Faced, 4 goals allowed, 1 Shutout)

Fucale is the consensus top goalie in this year’s draft for a reason and he continues to show why he’s been so highly touted. He picked up another shutout and allowed just four goals in four games, stopping 101 shots in the process.

1st Star – Jonathan Drouin (5 Goals, 5 Assists, +7)

The kid is ridiculous. Five goals, five highlight reel plays and he can’t stop. Even without lineman MacKinnon around he’s lighting up goalies and is an absolute force on the ice. Why is he the 1st star this week? Here’s why:

 

 

Last Week in Moose Country

Feb. 12th – PEI 0 – 7 Halifax

Feb. 15th – Shawinigan 3 – 6 Halifax

Feb. 16th – Moncton 2 – 5 Halifax

Feb. 16th – Halifax 5 – 2 PEI

This Week in Moose Country

Feb. 20th – Halifax @ Saint John

Feb. 22nd – Saint John @ Halifax

Feb. 24th – Acadie-Bathurst @ Halifax

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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and Host of the The Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets about sports far too much.

Canada cruises past Germany

(Photo: The Canadian Press)

(Photo: The Canadian Press)

[Photo Credit: The Canadian Press]

Canada opened up their Ufa adventure with a 9 – 3 win over Germany to open their World Junior Tournament.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stoked the offensive fire with a five point game, while Jonathan Huberdeau chipped in with three points of his own.

The Canadians overcame some sloppy play and a parade of penalties to overpower the underdog Germans, getting off to a winning start.

Xavier Ouellette opened the scoring for Canada, putting a power-play goal past the Germany goalie just three minutes into the game and Nugent-Hopkins doubled the lead moments later.

Germany would cut the lead to 2 – 1 with 31 seconds left in the first, Tobias Rieder clawing one back on the power-play.

The second period was all Canada, Mark Sheifele scored twice, with Jonathan Hubedeau, Ty Rattie and Ryan Strome all adding goals to answer a pair of German goals and lead 7 – 3 heading to the third period.

Icing it in the third period, Halifax Mooseheads star Jonathan Drouin added a highlight reel goal and Tyler Wotherspoon scored  rare goal to set a final 9 – 3 scoreline.

Captain Nugent-Hopkins was named Player of the Game.

Mooseheads Watch

Jonathan Drouin [1 Goal, 1 Assist, + 2] – Drouin impressed on his 1 goal, 1 assist performance. His assist coming from behind the net on a typical set-up, finding Ryan Strome alone in front, but his goal was the icing on the cake. He picked up a Scott Harrington slap-pass and dangled past a helpless German Goalie, showing his tremendous skill.

Nathan MacKinnon [1 Assist, + 1] – MacKinnon added an assist, but with much less ice-time his best moments came on the forecheck, as he added energy on a line with Anthony Camara and Ty Rattie.

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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the The Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

Golden Ticket for Mooseheads Duo

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By: Henry Whitfield

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

With a packed Metro Centre awaiting news anxiously, the final cuts were made to the Canadian World Junior team and both Mooseheads were left standing.

The dynamic duo of Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin have been wowing crowds at the Metro Centre for a while now, this time they will have a chance to wow the world when they make the trip to Ufa, Russia.

The NHL lockout meant that spots were even more limited than usual, especially for a pair of 17 year olds, but MacKinnon and Drouin did enough to impress Team Canada and beat out Daniel Catenacci, Mark McNeil, Hunter Shinkaruk and Tom Wilson for the final forward spots.

Next up for Team Canada will be a warm up game against Finland on December 20th, before meeting defending World Junior Champion Sweden in the final tune up before the tournament kicks off on Boxing Day.

Canada will open the tournament with games against Germany, Slovakia and continental rival Team USA before a tough final group game against Russia.

[Notes: Czech Republic Forward Marty Frk will also be in Ufa, representing his home country – – The Mooseheads prevailed in a 3 – 1 win over the PEI Rockets, despite missing their top three forwards, lead by rookie Dominic Beauchemin’s two goal performance – – The Mooseheads host Acadie Bathurst Titans Friday night before heading on the road for a pair of games]

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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the The Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game. 

Two Games isn’t Enough

By: Henry Whitfield

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

To say the hockey in Moose Country has been outstanding this season, well, that would be a massive understatement.

However, the hockey needs to take a backseat for a moment, instead lets discuss the  disciplinary case stemming from Sunday’s game against Val d’Or, where Trey Lewis was subject to offensive remarks from forward Vincent Dunn.

Dunn was tossed at the end of the first period, given a game misconduct for “Racial taunts, Gestures and slurs.”

The QMJHL took ‘action’, suspending Dunn for two games, releasing a statement from League Commissionare Gilles Courteau.

“The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League created an anti discrimination policy in December of 2006 in order to ban all forms of discrimination,” said Courteau. 

“Our policy is based on the principle of zero tolerance and it applies to all comments which are deemed inappropriate. All of our participants must be treated with respect and dignity.”

While I commend the league for taking action, it’s hard not to feel that they missed a chance to really make a point and a tough stance, or rather a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to a serious level.

Instead, they suspend the kid for two games. Two games? You get two games for a bad hit, two games for being an idiot. Two games, not really much of an impact

I’m not saying Dunn is a racist, he’s probably a great kid, but if you’re going to do something stupid then you need to be held accountable.

Two game suspensions are seen for  cross checking, charging the goaltender, slew footing, and hits to the head (I’d also argue this should be more too). But giving just two games for racially abusing someone, well, that doesn’t seem enough.

Oh and they  gave the team a $500 fine, a $500 fine? Tough right? Wrong.

Chicoutimi and PEI were fined earlier this year $2,000 for ‘multiple fights on the same stoppage’, while it routinely hands out $1,000 for the same infraction.

Seems to me that stamping out racism from a league that’s had it’s fair share of issues, should be taken a bit more seriously than a slap on the wrist of $500 and a two game suspension.

Heck, if you want to look at more high-profile cases then look no further than the current lockout, where NHL Player Wayne Simmonds was the target of racist taunting from fans.

If you want to have a zero tolerance policy, then have a zero tolerance policy.

Not a slap on the wrist policy.

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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

Moose Talk Monday

ImageHenry Whitfield

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

Lucky number 13, eh?

The Mooseheads have been on a roll of late and nothing has been able to slow them down.

A big change for Mooseheads fans who are familiars the last few ‘dark years’ the team went through, the Herd is playing with confidence and a grit that has shown them fight through and pick up thirteen wins in a row.

The confidence is high, even when top dogs Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin aren’t scarring, and they’ve dealt with going down early with the maturity of a team beyond their years.

It doesn’t get easier for the Moose, they head on the road for four straight games and will have to fight through Quebec as they match up with Drummondville, Rimouski, Gatineau and Victoriaville over that stretch.

The Herd sit alone at the top of the QMJHL with a shiny 15 – 1 record, but it will be how this team bounces back when that bubble pops that will show their true potential.  

Getting through adversity will be the first real test of this team if they want to go the distance this season.

 

Mooseheads Stars of the Week 

3. Nathan MacKinnon (2 goals, 2 Assists, +1) – He wasn’t labelled the next Crosby for no reason, he’s been business as usual and adding putting up the numbers he’s expected to. 2g 2a

2. Darcy Ashley (2 Goal, 3 Assists, +5) – The hardworking forward from PEI may not be scoring buckets of goals, but his work rate has been tremendous and he continues to bring the energy night in and night out. 

1. Jonathan Drouin (5 goals, 3 Assists, +5) – Returning from a six-game absence due to injury, Drouin lit up the offence and picked up hat-trick against Drummondville; he’s unstoppable right now. 

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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

It’s Hockey time in the Maritimes!

Mathieu Corbeil will try to lead his Sea Dogs back to the Memorial Cup

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

With sweltering heat pounding Halifax and unseasonal highs reaching across the Maritimes, the best hockey of the season is only just arriving.

Despite the heatwave on the East Coast, hockey buffs are getting ramped up for a bevy of playoff battles heading their way.

This may just be the best weekend of hockey the Maritimes will see all year, why not check out all the action?

The Saint John Sea Dogs kicked off their playoffs with a 7-4 win over Cape Breton and will continue that series this weekend, while the Halifax Mooseheads will play host to the Moncton Wildcats in their first round season.

Hot off their Memorial Cup triumph last year, the Sea Dogs are looking to find their way back to defend their title and  win back-to-back championships.

Turn the dial to CIS Hockey and the UNB Varsity Reds play host to the nation with the CIS Men’s Hockey University Cup dropping the puck Thursday afternoon, the tournament includes the second ranked McGill Redmen and four-time champion AUS Runner-ups Moncton Aigles Bleus.

As always, SSNCanada will be covering the CIS action and if you’re looking for the QMJHL games and can’t make it to the rink, you can always watch the TELUS Live broadcasts online.

Need some help keeping track of all the action? See below for all your weekend Maritime hockey needs:

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CIS University Cup

Pool A – UNB (1), Western (4), UQTR (6)

Pool B – McGill (2), Saskatchewan (3), Moncton (5)

Thursday, March 22
Pool B #1: McGill vs. Moncton, 2pm
Pool A #1: UNB vs. UQTR, 7pm

Friday, March 23
Pool B #2: Loser Pool B #1 vs. Saskatchewan, 2pm
Pool A #2: Loser Pool A #1 vs. Western, 7pm

Saturday, March 24
Pool B #3: Winner Pool B #1 vs. Saskatchewan, 11:30am
Pool A #3: Winner Pool A #1 vs. Western, 4:30pm *Also on Sportsnet

Sunday, March 25
University Cup Final, 8pm *Also on Sportsnet

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QMJHL First Round: Saint John Sea Dogs – Cape Breton Screaming Eagles *SJ Leads 1-0

Friday, March 23 – Cape Breton @ Saint John, 8pm

Saturday, March 23 – Cape Breton @ Saint John, 7pm

Tuesday, March 27 – Saint John @ Cape Breton, 7pm

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QMJHL First Round: Halifax Mooseheads – Moncton Wildcats

Friday, March 23 – Moncton @ Halifax, 7pm

Saturday, March 24 – Moncton @ Halifax, 7pm

Monday, March 26 – Halifax @ Moncton, 7pm

Tuesday, March 27 – Halifax @ Moncton, 7pm

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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

Randell Bowing out

Randell laces up one last time.

Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune

By: Henry Whitfield

 

He’s not flashy or a sniper, he works hard and battles on the boards, fighting every shift he’s on the ice.

Travis Randell has continually found a way to fit into the lineup over his five seasons in Moose Country, despite playing for three head coaches and a roster that has been in constant fluctuation.

As the Mooseheads close out the regular season tonight and Randell plays his last home game for the Herd, we reflect on the Newfoundland natives career in Halifax.

The Stats

314 Regular Season

12 Playoff Games

45 Goals, Tied 28th All-Time

73 Assists, 24th All-Time

118 Points, 26th All-Time

-86 +/-,  Probably not great.

His 314 regular season games rank behind only Brandon Benedict, who also holds the most goals scored, most assists and most points accumulated.

He now joins the ranks of Yuri Cheremetiev*, Frederic Belanger and Benedict as players to play five seasons with the Mooseheads.

While not known for his offence, Randell stepped up in the 2009/2010 season when paired with Tomas Knotek and Gerrad Grant, setting career highs and finishing third in scoring on the team. He finished with 18 Goal, 27 assists and 45 points.

He was rewarded the next season when named Captain of the team, playing a full 68 game season and adding in 24 points, despite his team finishing far below .500 with a 20-43-2-3 record and managing just 45 points on the season.

This season Randell saw his ice-time drop dramatically, adjusting at first to being replaced as Captain by new head coach Dominic Ducharme and then being asked to play defence for an injury riddled defensive unit. Not playing defence since minor league hockey, he moved into the role without losing a step and has been a key part of the Mooseheads success on the penalty kill.

Now as he reaches the end of the career, whether patrolling the blue line or up front forechecking, take a moment and cheer a little louder as he touches the puck, give the kid from Twillingate one last hurrah and the send off he deserves.

He may not be the greatest player we’ve ever had, but he’s been a Great Moosehead.

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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.