Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax
Darcy Ashley stepped out of the Halifax Mooseheads’ dressing room and let his feelings be known, short and sweet.
© JEFF HARPER - METRO HALIFAX
Halifax Mooseheads forward Darcy Ashley.
“We’re between 16 and 20 years old; it shouldn’t be hard to get up and play a hockey game,” said the Mooseheads co-captain, who scored his squad’s lone goal on a forgettable Friday night performance that saw the home squad fall 5-1 to the Moncton Wildcats before 8,626 fans at the Metro Centre
For Ashley and Co. it looked very much like a team disinterested in getting down to business, and the Wildcats were only too glad to take advantage.
“We haven’t played really great the last 10 games, but it caught up with us tonight,” added Ashley. “We left it too late. We can’t start playing with 15 minutes left in a hockey game.”
After Ashley’s 18th goal of the season, the Mooseheads finally found their legs but down 3-1 in the middle of the final frame it was too little too late, and JC Campagna pair of goals put the game out of reach for good.
“We’ve been gambling the last few games and tonight it bit us. But, I’m sure you’ll see a better team when the puck drops tomorrow.”
The Mooseheads leading scorer Nikolaj Ehlers came into Friday’s matchup riding a seven-game point streak (six goals and 10 assists), but struggled to find his game. The 17-year-old rookie found himself riding the pine in the third period after a sloppy play at Moncton’s blueline led to a Wildcats 3-on-0.
“It was like everyone was waiting around for someone to do something,” said Mooseheads overage defenceman Brendan Duke. “I don’t know if it’s that everyone thought (Drouin) and (Fucale) would be back. Everybody needs to take charge and stop pointing fingers.
“We just weren’t working together. We’ve already shown that good things happen when we play together. We made a little push, but geez we’re down two goals, it’s too late then.”
One bright light for the Mooseheads was the play of newly signed forward Phillipe Gadoury, who made his QMJHL debut with the Mooseheads. Gadoury, who was the leading scorer of the Central Canada Hockey League’s Nepean Raiders, had a handful of solid scoring opportunities, and came within inches of scoring after ripping a shot off the crossbar in the third period.
“My first few shifts were pretty tough,” he said. “But then I started to feel pretty comfortable. I’m excited to be here, and for tomorrow.”
The Mooseheads (26-16-0-1) will have little time to dwell as they prepare to take on the Bathurst Titan at the Metro Centre on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Christophe Lalonde scored a pair of goals, while Josh Pugsley rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats