The home team finally won in the Battle of Nova Scotia on Friday night in an entertaining back and forth battle between the Screaming Eagles and the Mooseheads. A late empty netter gave the Mooseheads 5-2 victory in a contest that saw plenty of good scoring chances at both ends of the ice.
Halifax jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and from that point on, with each Eagle goal the Mooseheads would counter and not allow the Eagles to get any closer. There wouldn’t be much special teams play on the night (just six power plays in total) and no power play goals. It would be a short handed marker that would put the Mooseheads up in the first period after a bad bounce for the Screaming Eagles.
Goaltender Kevin Mandolese held the puck behind the goal and played it in front to Kyle Havlena, but the puck bounced out to Raphaël Lavoie who fired it into the empty goal at the 6:04 mark.
The next Halifax goal started with a pass from behind the net from Marcel Barinka to Ostap Safin, who would make a quick backhand feed to Samuel Asselin who would score in the final 30 seconds of the opening frame. Halifax lead 2-0 at the first break.
Both teams would score in the middle stanza. Adam McComrick halved the lead with a long range shot as the Eagles blueliner deked into the zone, looked to sell a pass before firing it through Alexis Gravel’s legs. However before period’s end Ben Higgins would find space in front of the net and rip a shot over Mandolese to make it a 3-1 game.
Just past the four minute mark the Eagles would put the pressure on the Mooseheads again as Wilson Forest put a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle through a screen and past Gravel. But with 5:15 remaining in the third period Walter Flower would blast a shot from the blueline by Mandolese and the Mooseheads again re-established a two goal margin.
With three minutes remaining Eagles coach Marc-André Dumont would lift Mandolese for an extra attacker. They were unable to get any closer and Arnaud Durandeau would find the empty net to seal the win for Halifax.
Gravel stopped 31 of 33 shots in the win, while Mandolese turned aside 29 of 33 shots in the loss.
The Screaming Eagles will now get ready to go to the province of Quebec for a three game road trip that begins on Friday night in Baie-Comeau at 8:30 (Atlantic time). You can catch all the action beginning with the pre-game show with Patrick McNeil at 8:00 on 1270 AM CJCB or online at www.cjcbradio.com.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Ben Higgins (Halifax) Game winning goal
2. Samuel Asselin (Halifax) 1 goal, 4 shots
3. Declan Smith (Cape Breton) 1 assist, 4 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: MItchell Balmas (upper body injury), Isiah Campbell (upper body injury)
Scratches For Halifax: Samuel Dube (blood clot), Denis Toner, Kyle Petten, Cole Stewart
Final Shots On Goal: 34-33 in favour of Halifax
Cape Breton Power Play: 0/4
Halifax Power Play: 0/2