Saturday, May 18, 2013

MacKinnon powers Mooseheads to victory

Press Release

Nathan MacKinnon recorded a hat-trick while also adding an assist to lead the Halifax Mooseheads to a convincing 7-4 win over the WHL champion Portland Winterhawks at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.

Both clubs came out of the gate with the intent on being physical as several good bodychecks were thrown in the opening minutes.

The Mooseheads were the first team to get a power-play opportunity, but they were unable to capitalize. The Winterhawks soon benefited from a power-play of their own, but the result was the same.

Halifax got on the board first. Nathan MacKinnon made a beautiful move in the offensive zone before passing the puck in the crease to Martin Frk who made no mistake, shooting it between Mac Carruth’s pads.

The Winterhawks wasted little time before tying the score up at one. Seth Jones jumped into the play and beat Zachary Fucale with a shot that sailed over this glove at 16:41.

Fucale was solid in the first period, stopping 15 of the 16 shots he faced.

The floodgates opened in the second period with four goals being scored in the first five minutes of play and seven in total.

Portland took the lead on a Troy Rutkowski wrist-shot. The Winterhawks then went up 3-1 on a fantastic individual effort by Ty Rattie who cut in front of the crease and backhanded the puck past Fucale.

Jonathan Drouin cut the lead with a nice second effort in front of Carruth before Nathan MacKinnon tied up the contest at three at 4:36.

Halifax got back to back power-play markers. First, Luca Ciampini pushed the puck past Carruth after a nice move in front of the net. Then, Nathan MacKinnon burst past a Portland defenseman before lodging the puck behind the Portland netminder.

MacKinnon completed his hat-trick with less than two minutes to play in the second frame, pushing the score to 6-3.

The Winterhawks power-play showed their skill early in the third period. Troy Rutkowski jumped on a loose puck off that showed up on his stick off of a rebound and buried a shot in an open net. Two-time President Cup champion and MasterCard Memorial Cup champion Stephen MacAulay gave Halifax their three-goal margin back with his first goal of the tournament at 5:33.

Without surprise, Nathan MacKinnon was named the star of the game after his four-point effort.

Game three of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup will see the Saskatoon Blades battle the Halifax Mooseheads. The game can be seen live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports starting at 7 pm ET / 8 pm AT.

(Nathan can be reached at nathanfournier@mainehockeyjournal.com)

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