HALIFAX- On a night where the Halifax Mooseheads wore pink, red was the colour as the light went on 14 times in a 9-5 victory for the Mooseheads over the Screaming Eagles.
Pink in the rink in Halifax saw the goal scoring start early in a first period which would see multiple lead changes. Connor Moynihan would pounce on a rebound with a backhand to the side of Kyle Jessiman and Halifax struck first at 2:26.
Cape Breton took the lead before the 11 minute mark with a pair of goals, beginning with the Mooseheads getting into some penalty trouble. After Raphaël Lavoie received a double minor for high sticking, Jared McIsaac was sent off to give the Eagles a full two minute two man advantage. A power play blast from Phélix Martineau would place Cape Breton on the board, and Drake Batherson would put the Screaming Eagles up at the 10:51 mark.
However, the next two goals would come from the home team to take the lead before the buzzer. Benoit-Olivier Groulx locked the game at two and then in the period’s final minute, Raphaël Lavoie would deliver a highlight reel goal, deking through the defense and sliding it under Jessiman to make it a 3-2 game.
Max Fortier would score a nifty goal of his own to start the second period, just past the one minute mark, flying up the left and curling around the crease to stuff it into the Cape Breton goal and give Halifax a two goal cushion. But the Eagles would fight back, and tie the game on multiple occasions in the middle stanza.
First it was Egor Sokolov, making it a 4-3 scoreline. Then the Eagles appeared to tie the game in a chaotic sequence that saw Martineau sent crashing into Alexis Gravel, and Ty Fournier batted in a rebound as Gravel was pinned to the ice. However the goal was called back due to a high stick.
But Fournier would tie the game for real before the midway mark of the period. Filip Zadina would put the Mooseheads into the lead but Fournier would become the first player to score twice on the night, scoring from right in front of the goal and knotting the score at 5.
Once again, though, Halifax would find a goal in the final minute as blueliner Justin Barron jumped into the play and found his first career goal with 29 seconds left before the horn. With eleven goals on the board, things would actually tighten up heading into the third frame. Cape Breton would go down to 16 skaters for the first half of the period with Sacha Roy and Declan Smith being given misconduct penalties at the end of the period.
It took more than twelve minutes for the third period to find a goal, but it would come just following a Mooseheads power play. Joel Bishop jammed away at a rebound to increase the margin to 7-5. At the 14:31 mark, Filip Zadina would give Halifax the first three goal margin for either team of the night. Otto Somppi would skate behind the net and drop the puck to Zadina in the blue paint and he collected his second goal of the evening.
There was a last gasp for the Screaming Eagles as Joel Bishop was sent off at the 16:54 mark for hooking. Cape Breton coach Marc-André Dumont elected to lift his netminder Jessiman for an extra attacker. The Eagles could not find the back of the net on the two man advantage, but as the play continued the net remained empty. Somppi would slip the puck into the open goal to seal the deal on a 9-5 Halifax win.
Next up the Screaming Eagles return to Centre 200 for a pair of games against Quebec based opponents. On Wednesday night the Chicoutimi Saguenéens visit the Nest, and puck drop is 7 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the Centre 200 box office, by phone at 902-564-2200 or online at https://tickets.capebreton.ca/Online/default.asp
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1.Maxime Fortier (Halifax) 1 goal, 3 assists, 5 shots
2.Filip Zadina (Halifax) 2 goals, 1 assist, 7 shots
3. Justin Barron (Halifax) Game winning goal, +2
Scratches For Cape Breton: Kyle McGrath (collarbone), Gabriel Proulx (injury), Justin Lazure
Scratches For Halifax: Ben Higgins, Walter Flower, Jordan Lepage
Final Shots On Goal: 41-37 in favour of Halifax
Cape Breton Power Play: 1/5
Halifax Power Play: 0/4