By Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax
HALIFAX - Four games in, and the Halifax Mooseheads are searching for some consistency.
© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Mooseheads head coach Dominique Ducharme isn’t dwelling on his team’s slow start.
With three of their key players (Zachary Fucale, Brent Andrews and MacKenzie Weegar) back from NHL camps, the Mooseheads played by far their best game of the season in a 5-2 victory over the Moncton Wildcats on Friday.
But a different, less disciplined and defensively stunted team showed up in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
“I was happy with the way the guys worked and the way we played, especially defensively, on Friday night,” said Mooseheads head coach Dominique Ducharme. “We want to go back to those things that make us win. But it’s early in the season. Some guys are still adjusting, but we just have to get back at it, playing our game.”
The Mooseheads (1-3) will open a three-game home stint starting with the Bathurst Titan at the Metro Centre on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“Now that the team is set, besides Darcy Ashley, who’s still out nursing an injured hand, Ducharme said it’s about building chemistry and fine-tuning.
“We knew at the start of the season it would take some time to get all of us together. Last year when we started we had many returning players and the new guys were coming in following the older guys, and it was an easy transition. Now half the team is new. It takes time to get everyone on the same page.”
One of the bright lights for Ducharme has been the play of forward Andrew Ryan, who has collected three goals and three assists in four games playing alongside Brent Andrews and Nikolaj Ehlers, who leads all rookies with five points.
“(Andrew) had a good season last year and was strong in the playoffs. Physically, he’s big, with good skills. It’s nice to see him having a good start to the year.”
Though it’s been a disappointing start to the season for the Mooseheads, Ducharme isn’t dwelling on the past.
“Last weekend, it was the first weekend with our guys back, said Ducharme. “We had a good game, and we had a bad game. Now we want to build on having the same sort of effort night in and night out."