It doesn’t seem to matter how much the Halifax Mooseheads do right, their season just keeps going wrong.
The Mooseheads got their offence going and put in a spirited, hard-working effort but remained winless seven games into the QMJHL season after a 4-3 loss to the Rimouski Oceanic before an all-time low crowd of 4,340 at the Metro Centre.
For the fourth time this season, the Mooseheads were tied in the third period but were not able to get so much as a point, surrendering the winning goal to Rimouski’s Petr Straka on the power play 5:42 into the frame.
But coming close is no comfort for the last-place club.
“It’s frustrating. After we lose, we wonder, ‘What else can we give? What else can we do?’” said Mooseheads assistant captain Travis Randell. “But you’ve got to battle through and eventually things have to turn around. They just have to.”
Patrice Cormier scored twice in the final 64 seconds of the second period to put the Oceanic up 3-1. But Halifax didn’t roll over, getting goals from Randell and Steve Gillard in a 37-second span on two-man power plays early in the third.
Straka eventually stemmed the tide after a rebound from a point shot bounced right to him in front.
The Mooseheads had 19 shots in the third period — and 39 on the night — as they pushed desperately on a pair of power plays in the final 10 minutes and with the extra attacker.
“We had some great power plays, great scoring opportunities, guys in front of the net, scrambles in front,” Randell said. “Things aren’t going our way right now, but it’ll change.”
Rookie forward Carl Gelinas also scored and freshman goaltender Joel Grondin turned aside 31 shots.
It doesn’t get easier from here. Halifax hits the road for eight of its next nine games starting against the Val-d’Or Foreurs on Saturday and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Sunday.
“It’s going to be good for us,” said Mooseheads defenceman Alexandre Brunet. “It’s the right time to go on the road. We have to forget about the pressure and just win.”