As the crowd filtered out of the Metro Centre on Saturday night, the song Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town blared over the speakers. But as far as the Halifax Mooseheads were concerned, the big man had already delivered.
The Mooseheads had just edged the Bathurst Titan 5-4 and are suddenly smack in the middle of their first three-game winning streak of 2010 — and just their second since 2007-08 — as they take a nine-day break for the holidays.
All of this comes after a season-worst nine-game stretch that saw them lose eight times.
“Hard work brought us out of that slump,” said right-winger Darcy Ashley. “We’ve had different players stepping up every night and it’s been the key to our success.”
It didn’t seem like a probable turn of events last week. The Mooseheads had scored just 16 goals during their slump and just lost leading scorer Martin Frk to a world junior tryout.
But they maintained all along they had been playing well at the end of the losing streak and stuck with it.
“When you’re on a winning streak, you play rotten at the end of it and win a few before it ends,” said head coach Bobby Smith. “When you’re on a losing streak, you play a couple of great games at the end and don’t get rewarded. But now we’ve been rewarded three games in a row.”
The Mooseheads are 13-23-0-1, 15th in the QMJHL. They have already matched their full-season win total from 2009-10 and are off for nine days before their next game on Dec. 28.
“We’re going to put together quite a few more wins after Christmas,” Ashley predicted. “I think we can be a .500 team, hopefully have a few more fans at the rink, and go into the playoffs on a hot streak.”