The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s hottest team will welcome back their top defenceman this weekend.
After a heartbreaking overtime loss to Finland that eliminated Team Canada in the quarterfinals at the World Juniors on Wednesday night in Vancouver, B.C., Jared McIsaac will be back in the lineup tonight as the Mooseheads take on the Rimouski Oceanic.
Despite missing 13 games this season, McIsaac leads the Mooseheads blue line in scoring with seven goals and 15 assists in 23 games. He’s fourth in the QMJHL in points-per-game among defencemen.
Halifax has been surging in recent weeks, posting an impressive 9-1-0-1 record in their past eleven games.
The team is coming off a 7-1 trouncing of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the second and final game of the 2018 Hurley Cup series on New Year’s Eve at the Scotiabank Centre.
Raphael Lavoie, who dropped the gloves with Cape Breton captain Declan Smith in the first game of the Hurley Cup in Sydney on Sunday, led the way with a pair of goals and an assist in Game 2.
Lavoie seemed to find some chemistry on a line with leading scorer Samuel Asselin (28-19-47 in 37 games) and trading period acquisition Maxim Trepanier.
Trepanier, who posted 17 goals and 16 assists in 29 games with Gatineau, has five assists through his first three games with his new team.
Mooseheads rookie Samuel Dube, the 12th overall selection in the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft who missed 32 games with a blood clot, made his Scotiabank Centre in the lopsided win.
HALIFAX (26-8-1-1) vs RIMOUSKI (22-12-3-0), Friday at 7 p.m. on NEWS 95.7
The Oceanic and Mooseheads will face off in their second and final regular season game tonight at the Scotiabank Centre.
Halifax topped Rimouski 4-1 in the first meeting back on Dec. 2 at the Colisée Financière Sun Life.
Arnaud Durandeau, Patty Kyte, Joel Bishop, and Ben Higgins each found the back of the net for the Herd while Alex Gravel made 30 saves in the victory.
Like the Mooseheads, the Oceanic have also been without their top player over the last month.
Alexis Lafreniere, the team’s 17-year old leading scorer who has 17 goals and 37 assists in 31 games this season, was a teammate of McIsaac’s at the World Juniors.
Lafreniere is expected back in the lineup tonight.
Whycocomagh, N.S. native Colten Ellis (16-10-2-0, .912 SV%, 2.44 GAA), who faced just 13 shots in a 7-1 victory over the Remparts on Monday, should get the start for the Oceanic as they kick off a two game Maritime road trip.
HALIFAX (26-8-1-1) vs QUEBEC (15-14-4-4), Saturday at 7 p.m. on NEWS 95.7
The Quebec Remparts will make their only stop of the regular season at the Scotiabank Centre on Saturday.
Quebec picked up a 6-2 win over Halifax when these teams last met on Oct. 3 at the Videotron Centre.
It will be a much different looking Remparts roster tomorrow, however, as the team begins a bit of a rebuild.
General manager (and head coach) Patrick Roy has been busy during the trade period, moving a number of players including Halifax native Christian Huntley, netminder Dereck Baribeau, and captain Benjamin Gagné.
You can follow along with all of the play-by-play action at 7 p.m. on Dartmouth Dodge Mooseheads Hockey.
Don’t forget to tune in to the Burrito Jax Pre-Game Show at 6:30 p.m.