The Halifax Mooseheads (31-7-4-1) were led by Attilio Biasca, who scored five goals and added an assist for a six-point night, to a 10-7 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs (14-27-1-1), in a wild, high-scoring affair, at TD Station on Saturday.
Cole Burbidge scored his first career QMJHL hat trick and added an assist for a career high four-point night. Newly signed Sea Dog Luka Benoit also potted his first career goal in the contest. Brady Burns had three assists in a solid effort for the Sea Dogs while Charlie DesRoches and Alex Drover each had two.
On Halifax, Jordan Dumais also had a great performance with five assists, while Markus Vidicek had four points with two goals and a pair of helpers, and Zachary L’Heureux had a goal and two assists.
Brady James made 24 saves on 30 shots before being pulled in favour of Mathis Rousseau, who made seven saves on eight shots and was credited with his second win of the weekend for Halifax.
Olivier Brideau made 32 saves in the Sea Dogs net.
68 seconds into the game, Dumais found Vidicek who snapped a quick shot from the right faceoff dot that beat Brideau to give Halifax the early 1-0 lead.
Three and a half minutes later L’Heureux got a shot off the rush and his own rebound but Brideau made a pair of great pad saves to keep the puck out.
Just over two minutes later, Brady Schultz denied a breakout attempt from the Sea Dogs and worked the puck to Biasca at the side of the goal who buried it to make it 2-0.
Dumais almost added another for Halifax finding himself all alone 1-on-1 with Brideau, but he could not find the back of the net. Peter Reynolds got a similar chance at the other end three and a half minutes later, sneaking in behind the Mooseheads defense, but he was stopped by James.
A couple minutes later, Burns found DesRoches for a point shot that Burbidge got a piece of, redirecting it past James to cut the lead to 2-1.
Halifax struck back with just 45 seconds left in the period though as Braeden MacPhee sprung Evan Boucher fresh out of the penalty box for a breakaway goal and a 3-1 Mooseheads lead at intermission.
Shots after the first were 12-10 for Halifax.
4:39 into the second the Sea Dogs broke into the Mooseheads zone on a 3-on-2 and Nico LaForge fed the puck to DesRoches who made a perfect cross-ice pass to Benoit for his first career QMJHL goal, cutting the Halifax lead to 3-2.
Just nine seconds after, a clearing attempt by Nate Tivey took a weird bounce off the end boards right on to the stick of Biasca who buried his second to make it 5-3.
Biasca wasn’t finished there as just 2:31 later Vidicek teed him up for a wrist shot that he ripped past Brideau, making it 6-3 after 40 minutes.
Shots after the second period were 30-22 for the Mooseheads.
The Sea Dogs started the third period on a powerplay and just 30 seconds in they swarmed the Mooseheads net and Eriks Mateiko banged the puck in to make it 6-4.
3:28 later, Reynolds rushed up the right wing into the Mooseheads zone, dropped the puck to Nicolas Bilodeau who sniped it past James to pull Saint John within one 6-5.
4:33 after that, Alexis Cournoyer put a sharp angle shot over the shoulder of James, ending the Halifax goaltender’s night and tying the contest 6-6.
Rousseau came in in relief of James at 6:31 into the third period.
Just 30 seconds after, L’Heureux circled behind the Sea Dogs net and centered the puck to Mathieu Cataford who banged it home to regain the Mooseheads lead 7-6.
37 seconds later, off a mad scramble in front of the Halifax net, Burbidge threw the puck towards the goal from just below the goal line and it deflected off the foot of Rousseau and in for his first career hat trick, tying the game once more 7-7.
Just over five minutes later, Halifax regained their lead once more on the powerplay as Biasca got in behind the Sea Dogs defense to bury his fourth goal of the night to make it 8-7.
A little over two minutes after that, L’Heureux scored to make it 9-7, putting the game out of reach for the Sea Dogs. Biasca scored his fifth of the night into the empty net with 2:48 left to make it a 10-7 final.
Final shots were 42-38 for the Mooseheads.
Alpine 3 Stars
1 Attilio Biasca (5G 1A)
2 Cole Burbidge (3G 1A)
3 Markus Vidicek (2G 2A)
The Sea Dogs are on the road next for a game against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Friday, January 27th. Puck drop is 7 PM and you can listen to the game with Sea Dogs Radio presented by TD at CFBC 930 AM or watch at watch.chl.ca.