The Mooseheads' incredible 12-3 start on the road to kick off the 2018-19 campaign is beginning to feel like a bit of a distant memory.
This past weekend, the Herd dropped a pair of games on home ice to two of the QMJHL's top teams in the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
It was the first time all season long that the club lost two games in a row as their record at home dropped to 4-3-1-0.
"Our compete level was extremely good early in the season," Mooseheads head coach Eric Veilleux said. "System-wise, we did have a few things we had to work on but our compete was there. [We] just need to get it back.
"A team that doesn't compete, doesn't win hockey games."
So perhaps a road trip is just what they need right now to rekindle some of that team chemistry that they enjoyed during the early part of the season and find that extra gear that has been missing over the last few games.
Heading out on their first multi-game road trip since Oct. 21, the Mooseheads faced off against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada last night for the first of three games in four days.
While it was a better overall effort from the team -- they outshot the Armada 36-21 -- they ran into a very hot goalie in Blainville's Emile Samson.
The 19-year-old from Levis, Que. made some flashy saves in the second and third period as the Mooseheads peppered his net.
With less than five minutes to play and his team down 1-0, Halifax blue-liner Jared McIsaac was finally able to beat Samson to tie the game at 1-1.
But just ten second later, Alexander Katerinakis answered back for the Armada, restoring his team's lead after streaking down the right wing, slipping past McIsaac, and beating netminder Cole McLaren with a shot from a sharp angle.
With McLaren on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, Katerinakis fired the puck into the empty net for his second of the night as his team skated away with a 3-1.
It was McLaren's first loss of the season.
With the Mooseheads on a three-game skid, they have an opportunity to right the ship tonight as they travel to Shawinigan to take on the struggling Cataractes.
HALIFAX (17-7-1-0) vs SHAWINIGAN (7-17-1-1), Friday at 8:30 p.m. on NEWS 95.7
It is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.
The Cataractes are coming off a crushing 7-1 loss to the Moncton Wildcats on Thursday night.
Alexander Khovanov notched a hat trick and added a pair of assists for Moncton in the big win.
Eskasoni's Leon Denny had the lone goal for Shawinigan.
Lower Sackville's Lucas Fitzpatrick (6-8-1-1, .871 SV%, 4.62 GAA) allowed 7 goals on 30 shots and was replaced by rookie Antoine Coulombe (1-9-0-0, .859 SV%, 5.64 GAA) early in the third period.
The Cataractes had picked up victories over Val d'Or and Chicoutimi before their lopsided defeat last night.
Shawinigan is led by Jan Drozg, a fifth round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017. The Slovenian has eight goals and 23 assists through 25 games this season.
The team also boasts fourth overall CHL Import Draft pick Valentin Nussbaumer. The Swiss centre is fourth in scoring on the team with six goals and 11 assists and is NHL Draft-eligible in 2019.
HALIFAX (17-7-1-0) vs RIMOUSKI (15-9-2-0), Sunday at 4 p.m. on NEWS 95.7
Much like the Mooseheads, the Rimouski Oceanic were expected to challenge for the President's Cup this season as one of the Q's top teams.
After going through their own skid in October, the team is 5-0-1-0 through its last six games and things seem to be clicking.
They are coming off a 3-1 win over Victoriaville last Saturday and will take on the Tigres again this evening before Sunday's match with the Mooseheads.
The Oceanic are led by the young Alexis Lafreniere, a player already expected to be the first overall selection at the NHL Entry Draft in 2020.
Lafreniere has eight goals and nine assists in the month of November and 44 points overall this season.
For the second consecutive season, the team is getting stellar goaltending from Whycocomagh's Colten Ellis (12-7-2-0, .913 SV%, 2.44 GAA).
Follow along with all of the action at 4 p.m. on Sunday on NEWS 95.7.