Tomas Knotek delivered, but the Halifax Mooseheads couldn’t send their star player off with a victory.
The 19-year-old captain scored Halifax’s lone goal last night in a 6-1 road loss to the red-hot Moncton Wildcats as the Mooseheads’ latest losing streak stretched to three games.
It was Knotek’s final game with the Herd before leaving for the next three weeks to join the Czech Republic for the world junior championship in Saskatchewan.
Knotek, last year’s team MVP, has a club-leading 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points in 34 games. He’ll be a key player for the Czechs and could miss seven Q games.
“I’ve been too scared to look (to find out how many games he’ll miss),” said Mooseheads head coach Cam Russell. “You’re losing your captain, you’re losing your best player on a team that hasn’t generated a lot of scoring. It’s a big hole.”
Moncton got off to a quick start when Alex Saulnier put a penalty shot past Mathieu Corbeil just 3:20 in. Although Knotek evened things up at 6:08, the Wildcats took over with two goals in the second period and three in the third.
Marek Hrivik, who will join Slovakia for the WJC, scored a pair, while Allain Saulnier, Scott Brannon and Daniel Pettersson netted singles on Corbeil, who faced 29 shots.
All three third-period goals came on the power play.
“We had a power play that could have made it 3-2 and they got a power play after that and made it 4-1,” Russell said. “It’s tough to come back against a team like that when you’re down by three in the third period. Penalties cost us.”
The Wildcats, fifth overall in the QMJHL with a 21-10-3 record, have now won seven consecutive games.
The Mooseheads, last in the QMJHL with a 7-25-3 record, visit the first-place Saint John Sea Dogs tomorrow.
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