HALIFAX - Benoit-Olivier Groulx had two goals and two assists and Otto Somppi added two goals and one assist as the Halifax Mooseheads defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs, 8-2, Sunday at Scotiabank Centre.
Maxime Fortier and Jared McIsaac contributed one goal and two assists each for Halifax (32-11-5-1), while Connor Moynihan and Kyle Petten notched a goal apiece. Ostap Safin and Robbie Burt scored for Saint John (12-28-6-2), which fell in both games of a back-to-back weekend in Halifax. The Mooseheads took advantage of an early power play opportunity with the game's opening goal more than four minutes in. Somppi took a pass on the right side of the crease, jammed the puck on goal and buried his own rebound past the right leg of goalie Alex D'Orio. Moynihan made it a 2-0 game three minutes later with a wrist shot from a sharp angle on the left side that snuck between D'Orio's legs. Fortier extended his team's lead with under five minutes left in the period.
The Halifax captain took a pass in the slot and whistled a low wrist shot past D'Orio.
The Mooseheads continued to pour on the offence early in the second. Just over a minute in, Groulx drove the front of the net and redirected a pass from the right side over D'Orio's glove to make it 4-0. Saint John got on the board about five minutes later. Yohan Plamondon took a pass in the right circle and sent a hard feed to the front of the net where Safin deflected it past goalie Alexis Gravel. Burt netted a 4-on-3 power play goal six minutes later.
The Sea Dogs won a faceoff in the left circle and the puck made its way to Radim Salda in the high slot. He teed up Burt for a one-timer from the left faceoff dot that went through the legs of Gravel to cut Saint John's deficit to 4-2. But Halifax responded with five minutes left in the period when Somppi took a drop pass in the left circle and ripped a wrist shot over D'Orio's glove. The home side tacked on three goals in the third period.
With seven minutes left, Petten took a pass in the slot and sent a snap shot past D'Orio's glove. Less than a minute later, Groulx hammered home a one-timer from the right circle for a power play strike. McIsaac concluded the scoring with two seconds left. Gravel earned the win with 15 saves. D'Orio made 38 stops in a losing cause.
Somppi was named first star with three points while Groulx's four-point effort made him second star. Halifax defenceman Walter Flower took third star in front of 8,079 fans in attendance, including about 140 Sea Dogs Season Ticket Members who took part in the annual Season Ticket Member Bus Trip.
Saint John's next game is Wednesday, January 31st, at 7 p.m. against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Centre 200. The Sea Dogs' next home game is Friday, February 2nd, at 7 p.m. against the Charlottetown Islanders at Harbour Station.
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Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Stories from January 29, 2018
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