If the Halifax Mooseheads could just find a way to beat the P.E.I. Rocket, things wouldn’t look so grim.

But with yet another loss to their nearest Atlantic Division foe yesterday at the Metro Centre, the Mooseheads slipped closer to the QMJHL’s basement, with no end in sight.

The Rocket topped the Mooseheads 4-0, extending its perfect record in the season series to 5-0. If Halifax had won just three of those matchups, the Rocket would be in the basement instead of having a 12-point cushion on the Herd.

“We know how to work against them,” said Rocket forward Brandon MacLean, a Bedford native. “It’s good to get ahead (in the standings). They’re getting out of contention of catching us, and we’re that much further ahead.”

The Mooseheads trailed early when Brandon Street scored a soft goal on rookie goaltender Mathieu Corbeil. Even after they went down 2-0 early in the second period, the Mooseheads had hope — until they got in penalty trouble. Checking-from-behind penalties to Gabriel O’Connor and Eric Louis-Seize resulted in power-play goals before the period was over and P.E.I. walked away with victory.

“They laid the body on us early and outworked us and we took some undisciplined penalties,” said Mooseheads forward Matt Snow. “That hurt us. We’re in the race with them in our division and those points mean a lot.” The loss came on the heels of a heartbreaking 6-5 shootout setback on Saturday at the hands of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, who are a perfect 6-for-6 against Halifax.

There wasn’t much gas left in the Mooseheads’ tank. “When you play as hard as we did against a team like that, it takes a lot of emotion out of you,” said Snow, a fourth-line centre from Halifax. “You have to come back with the same effort, but at the same time, it’s a hard thing to do.”

Halifax played both weekend games without Jan Stransky, a high-scoring trade acquisition who earned a four-game suspension on Friday for a hit from behind.

The Mooseheads (11-26-4) have just one win in their past 10 games and are back in action on Friday on the road against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar (11-22-6).