Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
As a bit of hockey 101, the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will serve in the spotlight as the team to follow as everything from the basics to some intricacies of the sport of ice hockey are learned. Hopefully everyone from those new to following the sport to the more advanced hockey gurus will glean a thing or two from what will become a series of articles.
The season is winding down in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL or the “Q” for short), so this series will really start full-tilt next season, but a little introduction to the team and the league will wet your whistle now.
The Mooseheads play out of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) where the QMJHL makes up one of three leagues that go on to compete for the coveted Memorial Cup at the end of the season. The other leagues are the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL). This is known as Major Junior Hockey and it is the highest level of amateur hockey in the world. When the NHL teams convene for the annual amateur draft to decide the future of their respected franchises, this is where most of the players come from.
The 12th of March saw a game between the Mooseheads and the Lewiston MAINEiacs, from, you guessed it, Lewiston, Maine. The league may be the Quebec league, but there are many teams that aren’t from Quebec. Lewiston represented the QMJHL at the Memorial Cup tournament in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2007.
This season Halifax is atop the standings and the MAINEiacs are fighting for a berth in the playoffs.
In front of 8518 fans Lewiston topped Halifax by a score of 3 to 2. Led by goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who started the year with Los Angeles in the NHL, the MAINEiacs took advantage of many Halifax defensive zone giveaways and were a step ahead of the Mooseheads most of the night.
Lewiston scored the first two goals of the game, but the Moose managed to fight back with a pair of power play goals. Just thirteen seconds after the second Halifax goal the MAINEiacs put the final nail in the coffin by scoring their third goal of the game, which took away any life Halifax had managed to muster.
Next season the Moosehead games will provide opportunity to discuss many topics that will assist the understanding of this great sport. Mark your calendars now or, better yet, sign up for the Ice Hockey newsletter so no article is missed!