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Mooseheads holding out hope after dismal start

It was common knowledge this was going to be a long season for the rebuilding Halifax Mooseheads.

It was common knowledge this was going to be a long season for the rebuilding Halifax Mooseheads.

But with a meager one win in 17 games at the quarter pole of the QMJHL schedule, did anyone think it would be this bad? Not many — and certainly not the Mooseheads.

“We really shouldn’t have just one win, we should have a lot more,” said top-line centre Gerrad Grant. “We’re working hard on and off the ice, every chance we get.”

It’s not easy for the players to look at the standings and see their 1-15-1 record. With every loss, they slip further into last place, now eight points behind the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

But it’s been said the Herd is a better team than its record, and the numbers indicate that’s true. They’re rarely blown out, losing by four or more goals only three times.

In three of their losses, the Mooseheads were leading in the third period, and in three others, they were tied. Flip those six results, and the Mooseheads have a 7-10 record.

The Mooseheads outshoot their opponents on average, but it’s their opponents who deliver the knockout punch.

“A lot of guys have had chances to put them in the net but just can’t find the back of it,” Grant said.

While Grant’s line with Tomas Knotek and Travis Randell has combined for more than half of the team’s goals, nobody else is scoring much. Youngsters such as Gabriel Desjardins and Brent Andrews — cornerstones for the future — have combined for one goal and are still learning the ropes.

Inexperience at defence and in goal, meanwhile, has kept them from shutting teams down in the third.

“We’re not too worried about our record,” said defenceman Spencer Metcalfe. “We’re trying to build on being a better team, staying positive and pushing each other to be our best. We have to play our systems and play them well.”

So the Mooseheads will keep plugging along, hoping the tide will turn. Grant figures wins are bound to come.

“We should win at least seven or eight (of our next 17),” he said. “All the games are close. It comes down to one person putting the puck in the net when we have the chance.”

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