The Halifax Mooseheads will try to stay alive in the President Cup Final this weekend at the Scotiabank Centre.
The Mooseheads take on the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in Game 6 of their best-of-seven championship series on Saturday at 4 p.m. on Dartmouth Dodge Mooseheads Hockey on NEWS 95.7.
On Thursday, the Mooseheads fell 6-3 in Game 5 at the Iamgold Arena in Rouyn-Noranda, Que. as the Huskies took a 3-2 series lead.
It was a disastrous start for the Memorial Cup hosts who allowed four goals from the QMJHL's regular season champs during an eight minute and 38 second span.
It all started with Rouyn-Noranda's Peter Abbandonato, the Q's reigning scoring champion, scoring 5:45 into the opening period to put his club up 1-0.
Rafael Harvey-Pinard would extend the lead on the power play at 10:08, finishing a slick deke on Halifax netminder Alex Gravel and slipping home his ninth goal of the playoffs.
Less than two minutes later, Jakub Lauko redirected a fluky point shot from Justin Bergeron past Gravel for his team's third goal of the contest.
Then, at 14:23, William Cyr would lob a puck wide of the Mooseheads net that pinballed in off of Halifax defenceman Walter Flower as his team took a commanding 4-0 lead.
But after a brief conversation during a TV timeout at the Mooseheads bench with Halifax head coach Eric Veilleux, Gravel returned to his net and was steady the rest of the way for the Mooseheads, locking it down in goal as his team tried to battle back.
Arnaud Durandeau got the rally started for the Mooseheads with less than four minutes to play in the first period, banging a rebound past Rouyn-Noranda's Samuel Harvey after Benoit-Olivier Groulx fired a well-placed shot at the goaltender's pads.
Raphael Lavoie, the Q's leading goal scorer in the playoffs, notched his 20th of the postseason with just 2.1 seconds remaining in the period. Lavoie, like Durandeau, was the beneficiary of a rebound opportunity created by a great Groulx shot.
The Mooseheads would make it a one-goal game 3:57 into the third period as Samuel Asselin was able to knock a loose puck past Harvey for his ninth goal of the playoffs.
Then, with time ticking down and the Mooseheads desperately trying to complete the comeback, the team would get a glorious opportunity to tie the game up.
With just over a minute to go in the third period and just moments after Abbandonato ran over Gravel on a breakaway play that went unpenalized, the Mooseheads would get their best scoring chance of the game.
With Lavoie driving hard to the net down the right wing, captain Antoine Morand hit his team's leading scorer with a perfect pass.
Harvey came post-to-post to make an incredible desperation stop on Lavoie to preserve his team's lead.
The Huskies found the back of the empty Halifax net twice in the final minute to skate away with the 6-3 victory.
Gravel finished the game with 39 saves.
The Mooseheads showed some impressive resilience and character in the comeback effort.
They will need more of that tomorrow if they are to extend their season and keep their dream alive of hoisting the President Cup.
The puck drops at 4 p.m. Atlantic on Dartmouth Dodge Mooseheads Hockey on NEWS 95.7.
Don't forget to tune into the Burrito Jax Pre-Game Show at 3:30 p.m. (and stick around after our Dartmouth Dodge Mooseheads Hockey broadcast for the East Side Mario's Post-Game Show).
If the Mooseheads can pull off the Game 6 victory, the two clubs will face on Monday night at 8 p.m. Atlantic at the Iamgold Arena in Rouyn-Noranda. You'll be able to listen to it on NEWS 95.7.