The Halifax Mooseheads owned the highlight reel, but it was the Shawinigan Cataractes who earned the win.

Despite dazzling goals from star Tomas Knotek and rookie Andrew Wigginton, the Mooseheads’ quest for three straight wins fell short as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Cataractes before a crowd of 4,036 at the Metro Centre.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough,” said Mooseheads defenceman Pascal Amyot of his teammates’ pretty goals.

The Cataractes were tenacious from the opening faceoff and grabbed a 2-0 lead early on goals from Antoine Houde-Caron at 1:20 and Yannick Veilleux at 13:38.

Veilleux’s goal belonged on the blooper reel, as he lobbed an arcing shot from the faceoff circle that somehow eluded the glove of Mooseheads goalie Mathieu Corbeil.

Later in the first, Knotek danced around a Shawingan defender on a fabulous deke before roofing a shot blocker side to cut the lead in half. Wigginton’s goal came at 11:39 of the second in response to a tally from Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Philippe Paradis that made it 3-1 just 51 seconds into the frame.

The Halifax native grabbed the puck at his own blue line and went all the way, scoring on a slick move to his backhand.

“It was awesome,” he said. “I dreamt about that all my life.”

But the Herd couldn’t gather momentum. The Cataractes finished with a 36-19 edge in shots and put the game away in the third with a power-play goal and another into an empty net. Amyot described his team as “disappointed” afterward.

“We didn’t come out prepared,” Amyot said. “They started pressuring us and overall they just outworked us. When you get outworked, it’s pretty hard to win.”

The last-place Mooseheads (10-34-3) were coming off two weekend wins in which 19-year-old goalie Peter Delmas stopped 53 of 55 shots and was named QMJHL’s defensive player of the week. But to keep the 18-year-old Corbeil from getting rusty, head coach Cam Russell changed things up.

“That didn’t affect us at all,” said right-winger Jessyko Bernard. “We’ve got two really good goaltenders, they’re both stars in the league, and we’re confident with both of them in the net. That should have been a win tonight.”

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