HALIFAX – It was "The Blade-Mann Dixon Show" on Saturday as the diminutive goaltender led the Halifax Moosheads to a 4-1 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs in a nationally televised game from the Scotiabank Centre.
Mann-Dixon turned aside 46 of 47 shots to earn the win. Otto Somppi, Maxime Fortier, Frederic Aube and Nico Hischier all scored for the Mooseheads. Spencer Smallman was the only Sea Dog able to beat Mann-Dixon on this day. Callum Booth had 13 saves for Saint John.
- While shorthanded early in the first, Smallman found Matthew Highmore all alone in front of Mann-Dixon but Highmore's backhander slid past the right post.
- The Mooseheads would strike first at 5:05 when Somppi deflected a point shot past Booth.
- Just 1:14 later, a turnover inside the Mooseheads zone went to Hischier who broke down the left side and wired a wrist shot. The rebound of Booth's toe save went to Fortier - who made no mistake in ripping the puck into the open cage.
- Danny Flynn called a time out immediately after Fortier's goal to regroup his squad. While the Sea Dogs responded very well, Mann-Dixon did his best brick wall impression to keep the game 2-0 with a 15-save first period performance.
- The Sea Dogs got on the board at 1:37 of the second period - seconds after Booth made a big save - when Smallman broke down the left wing and fired a bullet over Mann-Dixon's shoulder.
- Aube restored Halifax's two-goal lead at 8:26 as his shot from the side wall caromed off something in front of Booth and bounced just over the goal line.
- The Sea Dogs dominated the third period with 19 shots on goal but they could not find a crack in the Mann-Dixon wall. In fact, Halifax's lone shot on goal in the final frame was not until the 18:03 mark, when Hischier stole the puck in the neutral zone and lofted a shot into an empty net.
- Fortier and Hirchier have combined for the most points by a pair of line mates in the QMJHL thus far this season. Mathieu Joseph and Highmore are second in that category.
- A Sportsnet reporter spoke with David 'DK' Kelly about the large following around of the world for #TeamDK. DK mentioned that he is still recovering after 20 rounds of radiation but he hopes to return to the Sea Dogs bench in early February.
Imama - Highmore - Veleno
Ward - Dove-McFalls - LeBlanc
Lafreniere - Pare - Reginato
Reid - Smallman
Zboril - Webster
Bourque - Bernier
Felixson - Comeau
The three Sea Dogs who played for Team Canada - Thomas Chabot, Mathieu Joseph and Julien Gauthier - are at home enjoying a well deserved break. Nathan Noel, Chase Stewart, Matt Green, Landon Quinney, Bryson Michel and John Warren are all recovering from upper body injuries.
A pair of Halifax goals a little over a minute apart early in the first period provided Mann-Dixon with all the insurance he'd need.
SN STARS OF THE GAME
TWEET OF THE GAME
NEXT GAMEIs there a cooler name in hockey than Blade Mann-Dixon of the @HFXMooseheads ? No I don't think there is. #wickedhandle— Ken Reid (@SNKenReid) January 7, 2017
The Sea Dogs and Mooseheads return to Saint John on Sunday for a 3 p.m. rematch at Harbour Station.