SAINT JOHN – Arnaud Durandeau netted a natural hat trick to lead the Halifax Mooseheads to a 7-1 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Teddy Bear Toss Night, Saturday at Harbour Station.
Benoit-Olivier Groulx, Walter Flower, Filip Zadina and Connor Moynihan also scored for Halifax (15-7-4-0).
Kevin Gursoy had the lone marker for Saint John (6-14-4-2).
A scoring summary is available HERE.
Gursoy sent teddy bears flying nearly ten minutes into the game, moments after a four-minute power play ended for the Sea Dogs.
Bailey Webster fired a low shot from the right side of the blueline that was stopped by Blade Mann-Dixon. Gursoy fished the rebound out of the crease and wristed it into an open net.
Groulx tied the game with a shorthanded goal four minutes later.
The 2016 QMJHL first-overall pick gained the Saint John blueline on the right side, cut into the middle and whipped a quick wrist shot past the glove of Sea Dogs’ goalie Matthew Williams.
Flower gave Halifax its first lead 52 seconds into the second with a shot from the high slot that beat a screened Williams.
More than a minute later, Joel Bishop took a shot from the right side that was stopped. Durandeau swept the rebound past Williams to make it a 3-1 game.
The New York Islanders’ prospect struck again on a two-man advantage in the final minute of the period.
Raphael Lavoie moved from the left circle to the high slot and rifled a wrister that Durandeau deflected with his stick under Williams’ glove.
Williams was relieved by Joel Goguen to start the third period. The 18-year-old Goguen, a recent free-agent signing by Saint John, made his QMJHL debut.
Durandeau completed his hat trick three minutes into the third on a wrister from the left circle that beat Goguen on his glove side.
Zadina made it 6-1 with a rebound goal near the halfway mark.
Moynihan wrapped up the scoring with a power play strike three minutes after that, burying the rebound of a point shot by Jocktan Chainey.
Mann-Dixon, the ex-Sea Dog, earned the win and third star with 29 saves. Williams and Goguen combined for 25 saves in the loss.
Durandeau’s hat trick made him first star while Groulx’s goal and assist prompted a second-star selection in front of 5,278 fans in attendance.
Saint John’s next game is Sunday, November 26th, at 2 p.m. against the Moncton Wildcats at Harbour Station. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office and online.