Voltigeurs Fall to Mooseheads, 5-2

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by Kathy K., Associate Editor, AllHabs.net

DRUMMONDVILLE — An open, frenetic style of play was at the forefront for a scout-and-media-heavy matchup between the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Halifax Mooseheads, many of whom were on hand to witness the talents of highly-touted prospect Nathan MacKinnon. A handful of current and former Habs were also in attendance, however, as general manager Marc Bergevin was spotted in the building, as well as Andre Savard and Donald Audette.

Habs’ prospect Olivier Archambault is interviewed by TVA Sports before the game. Photo: Kathy K., AllHabs.net

The Voltigeurs were coming off a 6-2 loss against the newest franchise in the “Q”, the Sherbrooke Phoenix, who were previously the owners of a season-long winless streak. Drummondville had to come out stronger in this one, as the Mooseheads arrived at the Centre Marcel Dionne having only been challenged once in the shootout with one other loss aside from that.

The Voltigeurs were not to score first, however, as the game’s first goal came off a strange bounce off a Drummondville player’s leg and was credited to Martin Frk as his third of the season. Not long afterwards, MacKenzie Weegar notched his first-ever tally in the QMJHL with help from Nathan MacKinnon and Stefan Fournier. Marc-Olivier Brouillard got his team on the board under two minutes after that, as Habs’ prospect Olivier Archambault picked up an assist on the play. Montreal native Luca Ciampini made it 3-1 Mooseheads with his seventh of the season before Jérôme Verrier narrowed the margin to a two-goal lead once again. Stefan Fournier, captain of the Halifax squad, capped off the period to send his team ahead 4-2.

Voltigeurs’ goaltender Domenic Graham, who has struggled to start the season, saw the gate at the end of the opening frame. His replacement, Louis-Philip Guindon, only saw two additional pucks head his way in the second period, one that was largely dominated by the home team on the shot clock. There was one missed breakaway opportunity by Verrier and a foiled 5-on-3 attempt, as opposing netminder Zachary Fucale was very sharp and did not allow anything past him in the middle stanza.

This pattern would overlap into the third with an added dose of feistiness as both teams became increasingly frustrated with each other, one with the other’s continued pressure and the other, of course, with the result on the scoreboard.  Two fights broke out and Drummondville would go on to outshoot their opponents 29-18, but Nathan MacKinnon’s only tally of the game (much to the chagrin of those expecting otherwise) was an empty netter that would seal the deal, 5-2. Olivier Archambault was named second star of the game. Goaltender Fucale was third.

MacKenzie Weegar and Charles-David Beaudoin drop the gloves. Photo: Kathy K., AllHabs.net

Drummondville drops to 4-5-0-0 to start the season while Halifax adds to their five-game winning streak, increasing their record to 8-1-0-0.  The Voltigeurs don’t have much time to rest as they take on Victoriaville tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 p.m. while Halifax move on to defending Memorial Cup champs Shawinigan.

Additional photos to come…