HALIFAX - In the end, Sebastien Auger could only tip his hat to the Halifax Mooseheads.
© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Halifax Mooseheads netminder Zach Fucale.
The Saint John Sea Dogs’ 19-year-old netminder faced 42 shots and witnessed his teammates get manhandled in a 5-0 loss to the Herd before 8,526 fans at the Metro Centre on Saturday night.
But it was the swagger the Mooseheads displayed in their dominant performance that stuck with Auger, a talented goalie in his own right.
“They took 42 shots but they could have taken many more,” said Auger. “They were always looking for the right play all the time.
“I’m watching them as they cycle the puck, you never know when the shot will come and you have to be looking all over the place to see where the forwards are.”
A night after bulldozing the Bathurst Titan 9-2, the Mooseheads lost none of their momentum, jumping out to a 2-0 first period lead, compliments of Nikolaj Ehlers and Luca Ciampini.
They just kept rolling from there en route to their ninth-straight victory.
Ehlers would tally again to add to his team-leading 17 goals, while Connor Moynihan and Andrew Ryan rounded out the scoring for the Mooseheads.
In the midst of it all, Jonathan Drouin picked up a pair of assists to increase his scoring streak to 13 games (11 goals and 26 assists).
“He’s the most creative player in the CHL, by far,” said Drouin’s linemate, co-captain Darcy Ashley, who picked up two assists on the night and six helpers over the weekend.
“You have to be ready for the puck every second because you never know when you’re going to get it. And you have to be ready to get rid of it just as quickly. He also offers us that much more room. The average fan might miss that but as a player that’s something we really respect.”
After a two-goal weekend, Ciampini is looking to get on a roll after a challenging start to the season.
“I got a nice one yesterday and my line’s been clicking, moving the puck well,” said Ciampini. “I’ve been working hard on my footwork as well as my core strength and cardio. It’s helping.”
Mooseheads netminder Zach Fucale quietly went about his business, making 22 saves for his second shutout of the season and league-leading 17th win.
With the victory, the Mooseheads (21-8) sit second in league standings, one point behind the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, who fell 5-4 in overtime to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Saturday.
As the Herd inches closer to top spot, rookie Connor Moynihan is just enjoying the ride.
“It’s something really special,” said Moynihan, who also had an assist on Saturday for his first multi-point night of the season. “I have never been on a team like this; that’s nine straight wins.”
- by Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax