HALIFAX – Saint John’s road losing streak extended to seven straight as the division leading Halifax Mooseheads defeated the weary Sea Dogs 8-2 Sunday afternoon at Scotiabank Centre.
Benoit-Olivier Groulx led Halifax to the victory with a two goal, two assist performance. Otto Somppi added a pair of goals while Connor Moynihan (one goal and one assist), Max Fortier (one goal and one assist) Jared MacIsaac (one goal and two assists) and Kyle Petten also scored for the Mooseheads. Alexis Gravel made 15 saves for Halifax.
Ostap Safin and Robbie Burt scored for the Sea Dogs. Alex D’Orio turned aside 38 of Halifax’s shots on goal.
- The Sea Dogs were awarded the game’s first power play but failed to register a shot on goal.
- Somppi opened the scoring nine seconds into Halifax’s first power play at 4:23 when he banged home his own rebound in close.
- Moynihan took a pass from Justin Barron in full flight down the left wing and ripped a wrist shot through D’Orio’s legs to extend Halifax’s lead to 2-0 at 7:28.
- Following a two-goal, two-assist performance on Saturday, Fortier continued his strong overage season with a one-timer from the slot on another power play at 15:34 of the first.
- Gravel wasn’t called upon to make his first save until 17:12 as the Mooseheads dominated the shot clock 14-1 in the opening frame.
- The Sea Dogs' injury woes continued as rookie winger Aiden MacIntosh got the worst of a collision with a goal post midway through the opening period and had to be helped off the ice. He would return, though.
- Groulx became the fourth Moosehead to score 20 goals this season (joining Filip Zadina, Fortier and Raphael Lavoie) when he redirected a pass from Arnaud Durandeau over D’Orio’s shoulder at 1:24 of the second.
- Safin got the Sea Dogs on the board at 6:18 of the middle frame when the big import deflected a pass in tight from Yohan Plamondon.
- Burt unloaded a big slap shot from the top of the left face-off circle after a feed from Radim Salda on a power play at 12:06 of the second to bring the Sea Dogs back within two.
- Somppi scored his second of the game at 14:46 of the second as he finished off a nice give and go with Fortier, unleashing a laser over a screened D’Orio’s from the slot. That made the score 5-2 after two periods.
- Seconds after defenceman-turned-forward Alexis Girard was stopped on a breakaway, Petten finished off a rush the other way with a goal at 12:55.
- Less than a minute later, Groulx’s one-time slap shot from the right face-off circle beat D’Orio to cap a two-goal, two-assist performance for the young Mooseheads star.
- MacIsaac kicked a little sand in the face of a dejected group of Sea Dogs when he ripped home a goal with two seconds left in the contest.
- Roughly 150 Sea Dogs fans made the trek from Saint John as part of a bus trip to watch the game.
- It is a rare occurrence to have these two Maritimes Division teams play back-to-back games on consecutive days in the same arena.
- Mooseheads’ star import Filip Zadina served the second of a two game suspension following the league's review of a major penalty he received last Saturday in Bathurst.
- Former Sea Dogs star Joe Veleno recorded his 40th assist of the season and is now third overall QMJHL helpers.
Forwards Cole Reginato (lower body), Matt Green (upper body), Landon Quinney (upper body) and Nicholas Deakin-Poot (upper body) are all on the injury list. With Robbie Burt returning to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game with a lower body injury, defenceman Tyler Smith was a late healthy scratch.
A dominant first period by the Mooseheads in which they scored three goals and limited the Sea Dogs to just one shot on goal set the tone for the hosts.
SN STARS OF THE GAME
1. Benoit-Olivier Groulx
2. Jared MacIsaac
3. Otto Somppi
Saint John travels to Sydney on Wednesday to face the Screaming Eagles at 7 p.m. The Sea Dogs next home game is Friday against the Charlottetown Islanders at 7 p.m.