Weekends Define Young Moose Team
Three weeks into the QMJHL schedule and the Halifax Mooseheads have their third .500 weekend record. Not only has the record been the same but the sequence has been the same. Win Friday; Lose Saturday.
After an undefeated preseason, the revamped Moosehead roster was filled with anticipation of changing the losing theme that had hung over the team from the past few seasons. Some were expecting the youthful core of this team to accelerate the rebuild and see the fruits of those effort this year.
Well now those expectations are getting the reality check they so required. The weekends have come to epitomize the ups and downs a young, skilled team will go through before learning to win consistently.
This Friday, Halifax welcomed the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to town and picked up the 3-2 victory. Randell, Desjardins and Boudreau did the scoring for the Moose. Rookie netminder Zach Fucale got his second straight start and first career win.
Twenty-four hours later, it was deja vu all over again. The team rolled into Moncton and for the third straight Saturday was unable to get a winning streak started. Within six minutes, the Wildcats Saulnier twins had the Moose down 2-0. First it was Allain who opened the scoring and was followed shortly thereafter by brother Alex capitalizing on the powerplay for his first of two on the night to put Halifax in a hole early.
Luca Ciampini scored his team leading fifth of the year in the first and Josh Desmond’s third of the year made it close in the dying minutes, but it was too little too late. Anthony Terenzio made 23 saves in the loss and kept the Wildcats off the scoreboard after the first period. Nathan MacKinnon was kept off the scoresheet for the entire weekend.
Learning to win consistently is a key lesson for the young Moose. It is often times easier to respond positively after a loss, as you have a result that needs to change. The Mooseheads have to adjust to coming back after victories and not have a letdown in either the emotion or effort. These are things that should have been expected from a young talented team, and it maybe a blessing in disguise to have these struggles right off the hop.
With a number of players back in the lineup after returning from NHL camps. This weekend was the closest the Moose have had to a full roster all season. The team will get another boost when key pieces Martin Frk and Andrew Ryan return from injury. Frk is closer to a return as he was listed day-to-day and has been skating with the team. Ryan is still recovering from a broken ankle and will need a couple more weeks before he can return.
The Mooseheads next see game action as they travel to visit the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles next Friday. They will get reprieve from back-to-back games next weekend as they will be off until the following Wednesday. Perhaps the few days in between will help the team take the next step in stringing some wins together.