|CALGARY - One of the golden rules in any given XHL season is to never underestimate the Montreal Moose. No matter how much they may be struggling, Montreal always seems to, at the very least, find a way to make things interesting. And so far, this season appears to be no different.
After a rough start to the season, the Moose are beginning to make a move in the North American conference. And last night they continued that as five different goalscorers came through in a 5-4 win over the Inferno in Calgary that gave them their fourth straight win. The win also pushed Montreal into one of the two wildcard spots in the conference.
"It's been an inconsistent go of it this year," said Darren Haydar, who scored his league-leading 36th goal of the year in the win. "But we're finding some footing now, and I think we'll be able to get a good win streak going soon the way we're playing."
Calgary out-shot Montreal 19-12 in the first, but the Moose were the ones to take the early lead. Keith Yandle started the scoring with his fifth of the year 4:15 into the first, followed at 15:36 by Jamie Tardif's 15th of the year as they took a 2-0 lead. P.A. Parenteau's second of the year at 18:51 got the Inferno on the board as they found themselves down a goal after one.
The Inferno would then tie the game at 2 on Brendan Bell's fourth of the year at 2:14 of the second, but the Moose came storming back later in the period thanks to Michal Barinka's first of the year at 4:53 and Niklas Hagman's sixth of the year with nine seconds left in the period as they took a 4-2 lead heading into the third.
In the final period, Calgary would out-shoot Montreal once again - this time by an 18-6 margin (they would out-shoot them 47-30 on the night), but they would be unable top stop Haydar from striking on the power play for his 36th at 4:47 as the Moose went ahead 5-2.
The Inferno rebounded late with a pair of goals - Jim O'Brien's 16th at 9:11 and Ruslan Fedotenko's seventh at 16:42 - to bring the score to within a goal, but they would be unable to pick up the equalizer as the Moose continued their strong play with their fourth consecutive win.
TRU GRIT - Yuri Trubachev scored the game-winner in the shootout as the Dallas Freeze rallied from a late 3-1 deficit to defeat the Stallions 4-3 in Denver.
THE GOSPEL OF MATTHIAS - Shawn Matthias' game-winner in the shootout gave Brooklyn Red Bulls HC a 4-3 home win over the Winnipeg Jets.
"GO" WEST, YOUNG MAN - Scott Gomez scored two goals for the Anaheim Ducks as they edged the Las Vegas Sharks 3-2 at home.
SPY SCHOOLED - Ahren Nittel's game-winning goal in overtime led the San Diego Toros to a 4-3 win in New Orleans over the Rebels.
TOMORROW: It's Hockey Night in Canada, with four matchups including New Orleans at Ottawa, Winnipeg at Quebec, Detroit at Edmonton and New England at Vancouver. Also, the XHL on NBC will feature a slate of regional matchups including New York at Philadelphia, Las Vegas at Chicago and Rebels/Rough Riders.
2016 XHL SEASON - All times Eastern
Friday, July 1, 2016
Minnesota (white) at Los Angeles (purple) - 4 PM - FS North, FS Prime Ticket
New York (alternate) at Philadelphia (orange) - 7 PM - NBC
New Orleans (gold) at Ottawa (alternate) - 7 PM - NBC, City TV
Detroit (alternate) at Edmonton (orange) - 10 PM - City TV, FS Detroit
San Francisco (gold) at Dallas (blue) - 4 PM - CSN Bay Area, KTXA (Dallas)
Las Vegas (teal) at Chicago (black) - 7 PM - NBC
New England (alternate) at Vancouver (blue) - 10 PM - CBC, CSN New England, XHL Network
Winnipeg (white) at Quebec (red) - 7 PM - CBC, TVA