© Metro Halifax
Mooseheads forward Andrew Ryan
The Halifax Mooseheads got a healthy dose of reality on Wednesday night.
On the same day they cracked the CHL’s weekly top-10 rankings for the first time this season, the Mooseheads started their Quebec road trip with a 5-2 loss to the Gatineau Olympiques at the Centre Robert-Guertin.
“I thought we were right there,” said Mooseheads head coach Dominique Ducharme. “But they were more opportunistic than we were and we missed a lot of good chances, especially in the first and second periods.”
The Mooseheads, who had their three-game winning streak halted, gave up a shorthanded goal to fall into a 1-0 hole headed into the middle frame. The Olympiques would take a 4-1 lead early in the third period on the strength of two power play goals.
Mooseheads forward Andrew Ryan would tally his team leading 10th goal of the season at the midpoint of the final frame to draw the Herd within a pair of goals. But it was too little too late.
Despite the loss, Ducharme said he was content with his squad’s battle level.
“It was an intense game. It’s not for a lack of effort that we lost. We have to take care of little details, we could have been better on the power play, with our play around the net, but it was an even game.”
CHL Player of the Week Darcy Ashley notched the other goal for the Mooseheads, extending his point streak to 11 points (six goals and five assist) in five games. Halifax native Taylor Burke led Gatineau with a pair of goals, while Elie Berube, Vaclav Karabacek and Vincent Dunn each notched singles.
Mooseheads goalie Zachary Fucale made 22 saves in the loss.
The Mooseheads (12-8) remain in first place in the Maritimes division, ahead of the Charlottetown Islanders, who have three games in hand.
The Mooseheads were ranked No. 8 in the CHL’s list of top 10 teams in the country, released on Wednesday.
Blainville-Boisbriand Armada retained the top spot, while the other two Q teams to make the list: Baie-Comeau Drakkar and the Olympiques garnered fourth spot and an honourable mention, respectively.
The Mooseheads are back on the road Friday to face the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies at 8:30 p.m.
Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax