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Dylan McGuigan bringing momentum

From the first game he played with the Halifax Mooseheads, Dylan McGuigan was a big hit with his coaches.

From the first game he played with the Halifax Mooseheads, Dylan McGuigan was a big hit with his coaches.

The 17-year-old forward was recalled by the Herd as an affiliate player last Friday and made such a physical impact in his first two games, head coach and general manager Cam Russell put him on the roster for the rest of the season.

“Cam called me in after the first game and said he loved the way I played because I was the only one hitting out there,” said the Gaspereaux, P.E.I., native. “He said that’s what the team needs to get the boys fired up and start winning.”

The fact that McGuigan was able to make such a big impression on the Mooseheads’ brass was that much more notable considering he hadn’t appeared in a game since Nov. 27 in a season that has seen him break his right hand twice.

The five-foot-10 199-pounder almost made the Mooseheads as a free-agent walk-on at training camp in August but suffered the first break in his only QMJHL pre-season game.

He returned to action in October with the junior A Truro Bearcats, but broke his hand again after 12 games in a fight with Tyler Gale. Friday marked his first game back — and his first game in the Q.

“It was a big step ... You don’t have as much time to react,” he said. “But I didn’t find it as physical as junior A. There are a lot more tough guys and goons who just look for it in junior A, but here, it’s just all about hockey.”

To protect his hand, McGuigan likely won’t drop the gloves this season. But don’t expect the hit parade to stop. “That’s what I like to do,” said McGuigan, who was linemates with current Mooseheads Brent Andrews and Jordan Costello with the midget Cornwall Thunder last season. “If you go out there and get some hits, it changes the momentum.”

That sits just fine with Russell. “He brings an element we’re missing,” Russell said. “He plays very physical, skates well, forechecks and hits hard. He’s rocked some guys and had some very big hits.

“That’s what we need in our lineup.”

Scoring drought still going strong
The last-place Halifax Mooseheads (8-33-3) will look to shake a 132-minute, 56-second scoring drought in a pair of home games this weekend at the Metro Centre.

The Mooseheads, who have lost eight straight, host the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (21-17-6) on Friday at 7 p.m. and the Drummondville Voltigeurs (31-12-2) on Sunday at 4 p.m.