Underdog Halifax Mooseheads bounce back to even series with Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on home ice
The Halifax Mooseheads scored early and held onto the lead to draw even in the first-round playoff series.
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Short-term memory came in handy as the Halifax Mooseheads bounced back with more energy and intensity to even up its first-round playoff series.
Halifax jumped out to an early lead and never let go in a 3-1 win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to tie the best-of-seven series 2-2 in front of 5,458 fans at the Scotiabank Centre.
"I mean big win, get back in the series,” said 20-year-old defenceman Frédéric Aubé.
"We knew it was going to be hard if we were down 3-1, so that's why this game was important and I think the guys responded well tonight."
Mooseheads head coach André Tourigny said after Game 3 he wanted the team to come out with more emotion and get the power play going after failing to score on 10 chances.
It appears the Herd got the message. Jake Coughler score 1:15 into the game, prompting the Huskies to call a timeout. Halifax kept up the pressure, registering the first seven shots of the game.
The dormant power play was revived when Swiss forward Nico Hischier scored his second playoff goal 20 seconds into Halifax’s first power-play chance.
"You saw last night, we couldn't get anything going on the power play. It was frustrating for us. It was something we really focused on today and we wanted to get back to what we've been doing and luckily we put one in,” said the veteran Coughler.
Rouyn-Noranda goalie Olivier Tremblay was pulled after Aubé scored an unlikely goal from the back corner behind the net.
“We have to throw more pucks to the net and that's what I tried to do and a lucky bounce, I'll take it," said Aubé, who was named second star.
For the first time in the series, Moose goalie Alex Gravel faced fewer than 40 shots. He finished the night with 32 saves on 33 shots and was named second star.
Rouyn-Noranda outshot Halifax 33-23 and received a goal from winger Alexandre Fortin.
The Mooseheads are in uncharted territory as underdogs. Since the current playoff format was introduced by the QMJHL in 2010-11, a 15th-place team has never won more than one game in a series.
Moose defenceman Jared McIsaac was on the receiving end of a check from behind by Manuel Wiederer and left the game appearing to favour his shoulder. He returned for one shift but is considered day-to-day.
Halifax hosts Game 5 on Friday at 7 p.m.