The Halifax Mooseheads kicked the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s best team while it was down.
With the Saint John Sea Dogs already reeling after their incredible 22-game winning streak was snapped on Sunday, the Mooseheads strolled into Harbour Station and stunned the nationally-second-ranked club in a 4-2 upset victory.
It was an unlikely outcome in a battle of worst versus first, but the Mooseheads — backed by Mathieu Corbeil’s goaltending — broke open a 2-2 tie in the third period with goals from Jessyko Bernard at 8:54 and Carl Gelinas at 14:37.
Corbeil turned aside 33 shots and was the first star while the Mooseheads killed off five of six penalties.
“I won’t lie, it feels good to beat a team like that,” said Mooseheads head coach Cam Russell. “They’re a team with a lot of skill and ability. We had a lot of penalties to kill off and Corbeil was strong when we needed him.”
Making the win most impressive was the fact the Mooseheads were without two of their top defencemen, Garrett Clarke (groin) and Steve Gillard (charley horse), as well as captain and leading scorer Tomas Knotek, who left Wednesday to join the Czech Republic at the world junior championship.
Rookie blueliner Jamie Bishop, playing in just his second career game, had an assist and was the third star, while fellow 16-year-old defender Trey Lewis made his Q debut.
“The defence, as a whole, played well,” Russell said.
Charles Bety and Pascal Amyot had the other goals as the Mooseheads improved to 8-25-3.
The Mooseheads face the Sea Dogs again on Friday at the Metro Centre and then don’t return to action until Sunday, Dec. 27, when they host the Moncton Wildcats.