Ashley’s Big Night Leads Moose to Dub
Many fans were still finding their seats when the top line of Ashley, Nathan MacKinnon, and Luca Ciampini struck just :26 seconds into the game. The Mooseheads extended their early lead when Gabriel Desjardins put home his third of the season on a nice passing play from linemates Alexandre Grenier and Matthew Boudreau.
Halifax was in danger of letting a slow-starting Wildcat team back into the game, handing Moncton three powerplays in the first period. The team from New Brunswick was able to apply sustained pressure in the Halifax zone, but were kept mostly to the outside. They did have however manage to capitalize on the powerplay late in the first as Marek Hrivik got his fourth of the year.
The late period goal cut the Moosehead lead to just one. An early second period penalty put Moncton back on the powerplay and potentially could have been a big momentum changer.
All that was snuffed out when Ashley potted his second of the night, this time shorthanded, after being sprung on a breakaway by a nice clear of the glass from Brent Andrews.
The Mooseheads never looked back after that. MacKinnon added a goal to go along with his three assists on the night, while Ashley scored twice more, once on the PP. Cameron Critchlow rounded out the scoring for the Moose with his first in the Red and Green. Ciampini also benefit from the lines offensive output with three assists.
Ashley completed the Gordie hattrick (to go along with the traditonal trick +1) midway through the third. He took exception to a reckless attempt to hit linemate Nathan MacKinnon and immediately faced down the larger Scott Trask.
Anthony Terenzio was not tested a lot from in close, but faced a number of shots from outside and through traffic. Terenzio looked solid all night and flashed a quick glove hand on few occasions.
One thing I think the team can look to improve upon from last night was clearing the defensive zone. They seemed to have difficulty at times, although they managed to keep the Wildcats to the outside for the most part. They tempted fate with some poor clearing attempts and losing some battles down low. What can I say, you gotta find something to work on.
I’d like to give honourable mention to Alexandre Grenier, whose strength and soft hands led to a number of dangerous rushes last night.
The Moose will now try to do something they have not done yet this season: win back-to-back games. They will try to make that happen Saturday night when they travel to PEI to face the Rocket.
They’ll then be home on Sunday afternoon for a matinee against provincial rival Cape Breton. The Moose should be looking to avenge a loss to the Screaming Eagles where they allowed four unanswered goals and watched a 3-0 lead disappear.
Sunday’s game will also be Subway Skate with the Herd. Fans who purchase tickets to Sunday’s game can skate with the Mooseheads following the game.