Stingy defensive effort leads to important win in Moncton
Timely goals paired with a fine defensive effort from the entire team and an unbeatable Mathis Rousseau led the Mooseheads to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Moncton Wildcats on Sunday afternoon at the Avenir Centre.
Markus Vidicek scored twice and Jordan Dumais contributed three assists as the Herd snapped a four-game winning streak by the Wildcats. The victory erased Halifax’s mini two-game losing skid and increased their Maritimes Division lead to four points over Moncton with a 19-5-2-0 record for 40 points in 26 games played.
Head Coach Jim Midgely wanted a good response from his team after getting shutout in Cape Breton on Friday in a rather uninspiring effort and the coach got exactly what he asked from the Moose in Moncton. This win was much more indicative of the capabilities of the Mooseheads, serving as a positing sign. Several players laid their bodies on the line by blocking plenty of Wildcats shot attempts while Rousseau was perfect with 35 saves. His eighth career shutout tied Jeremy Duchesne for second in franchise history and he now trails only Zach Fucale who holds the all-time Mooseheads record of 12.
Rousseau smothered any Wildcats hopes throughout the afternoon in front of nearly 100 faithful Mooseheads fans who made the trek to the Hub City to cheer on the visitors. He made 13 saves in both the second and third periods and the frustration mounted for a Moncton that has scored the second-most goals in the QMJHL this season with 105. Surprisingly, Rousseau wasn’t named as one of the three stars of the game.
Jordan Dumais spots Jake Todd and he makes no mistake to give us the lead in Moncton.
— Halifax Mooseheads (@HFXMooseheads) November 26, 2023
The Herd broke a scoreless tie at 12:01 of the first period when Jake Todd accepted a nice pass from Jordan Dumais and wired in a shot from the circle for what turned out to be the game-winning tally. Then it was Markus Vidicek’s time to shine in the middle stanza by scoring back-to-back goals to increase his team-lead to 19. He knocked in his own rebound at the 7:46 mark and then buried a short-handed goal off the rush just over two minutes later. Brody Fournier put some icing on the cake with a wrap-around goal in the third period as newcomer Ethan Larmand picked up his first career point with the primary assist. The recent free agent addition was also heavily involved in the physical aspect of the game and was wrapped up with Gabe Smith as the buzzer went to end the contest. Both players were handed roughing penalties and unsportsmanlike misconducts.
Vidicek and Dumais now share in the scoring lead for the Mooseheads this season with 37 points apiece while Mathieu Cataford had a pair of assists in the win and is right behind them with 36 points.
Halifax is set to continue the schedule out on the road this week. They were set to drive to Edmundston immediately following the game and will head out for Blainville-Boisbriand on Monday morning. The Moose face the Armada on Wednesday night before visiting Val d’Or on Friday and Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday. The next home game for the Herd is Thursday, December 7th against Drummondville. Halifax will also host Gatineau on Friday, December 8th. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.ca.