News / Halifax

Family affair: Fortier brothers face off as Halifax Mooseheads fall to Baie-Comeau Drakkar

Max Fortier of the Mooseheads skated against his younger sibling Gabriel, who was making his QMJHL debut.

Max Fortier, shown in this file photo, scored two goals in a losing cause.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Max Fortier, shown in this file photo, scored two goals in a losing cause.

It was a memorable game for the Fortier family.

Halifax Mooseheads forward and league-leading scorer Max Fortier went to centre ice before the game for a ceremonial faceoff against younger brother Gabriel who was making his QMJHL debut for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

While the rookie didn’t register a point, his Drakkar sunk the Moose 7-4 on DND appreciation night at Scotiabank Centre.

“It was a little bit weird seeing him on the ice with me. It was really, really fun. I’m happy for him,” said Max Fortier who extended his scoring lead to 71 points with a pair of goals.

Gabriel Fortier, the fourth overall pick of the 2016 QMJHL entry draft, played his first hockey of the season after suffering a shoulder injury at Canada’s under-17 camp in Calgary over the summer. Cleared for contact by doctors two weeks ago, his debut just happened to come against the elder Fortier in Halifax.

“We’re really lucky. The Mooseheads, I thank them for the opportunity. It was a good experience to be part of that face-off with him,” said the Mooseheads sniper, whose parents were in attendance tonight.

The Drakkar scored early and often, chasing Alexis Gravel from the net with three goals on five shots. The shaky start came less than 24 hours after a standout 42-save performance in a shootout loss against Chicoutimi. Blade Mann-Dixon, who missed Thursday’s game with illness, allowed four goals on 26 shots.

“They saved our backs a lot of times this year, we have to play a lot better in front of them,” Max Fortier said.

Top prospect Nico Hischier had a goal and two assists for the Herd, extending his point streak to nine points in four games and moved him into a tie for third in QMJHL points with 67.

Jake Coughler continues to find success in a Moose uniform and has scored in three-straight games.

Baie-Comeau’s attack was led by Jordan Martel’s two goals. Russian centre Ivan Chekhovich, ranked 51st in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings earlier this week, had a goal and two assists.

The Mooseheads get a week off before returning to action Jan. 27 on a three-game road trip in Quebec.

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