Brian Lovell was handed a great opportunity and the Halifax Mooseheads’ No. 7 defencemen made the most of it Friday night.
With MacKenzie Weegar still out with a wrist injury, the 17-year-old blueliner stepped in scoring his first QMJHL goal while helping Halifax to a convincing 6-3 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes in front of 7,900 fans at the Metro Centre.
Lovell and the Mooseheads dominated in virtually every category, outshooting Shawinigan 38-11.
“I can’t even describe how good it feels,” said Lovell, while a huge smile spread across his face. “I don’t score too many goals; I think the last one was in midget. I’ve been working really hard trying to be ready and to get one in my 29th game feels really good, especially at home.”
The six-foot-one 201 pounder’s rocket from the point gave the Mooseheads a commanding 3-0 lead early in the second period.
The Mooseheads used their superior speed and skill to take a 4-1 lead into the third period.
Mooseheads forward Jonathan Drouin finished a dramatic end-to-end rush, undressing three defenders to notch his 33rd marker of the year. He also picked up an an assist to extend his QMJHL leading point streak to 18 games (18 goals and 19 assists).
J.C. Campagna of Shawinigan scored just over a minute into the third to make it a two goal game but the Mooseheads ended the threat in short order when Matthew Boudreau and Matt Murphy scored 1:21 apart.
Mooseheads forward Luca Ciampini had another big game picking up three assists while Matthew Boudreau, Darcy Ashley and Dominic Beauchemin rounded out the scoring.
“I think the work I’m doing in practice is paying off,” said Ciampini, who now has eight points in his last three games. “I feel good. But it’s not just me, we all came out worked as a team and showed what kind of depth we have again.”
Alex Pawelczyk and Kris Hodge picked up the other goals for Shawinigan.
Mooseheads netminder Chris Clarke filled in for Zach Fucale, who got the day off.
Mooseheads left winger Andrew Ryan made his return to the lineup after missing 10 games with a knee injury.
With the win the Mooseheads improve to 44-6-2-1 while Shawinigan falls to 14-35-5-2. Halifax returns to action Saturday night at home to the Moncton Wildcats.
Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax