Halifax Moosehead turns heads with show-stopping assist
Published Monday, February 25, 2013 7:07PM AST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 26, 2013 1:57PM AST
Halifax Moosehead Jonathan Drouin leads the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in scoring, but it was his performance on the weekend that left players and fans shaking their heads in amazement.
Nearly 11,000 fans gave number 27 a standing ovation during Sunday’s game against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan for an assist that made every highlight reel, including TSN, ESPN and NHL.com
“It just happened along the way, just happened,” says Drouin. “I’m pretty happy that it happened yesterday.”
Teammate Stephan Fournier says he had one worry as the puck came flying towards him from Drouin - don’t miss the shot.
“Better not miss if he tries passing it to you right now,” says Fournier of what was going through his mind at the time.
Drouin set up three goals and scored one himself in the 11-3 victory over the Titan.
Injured linemate Nathan MacKinnon watched from the press box.
“Everybody kinda had their hands on their head in shock and you know, it was unbelievable,” says MacKinnon.
“He’s probably the most dynamic forward I’ve ever seen, not so much played with, ever in the league,” says Fournier.
Last year, Drouin had 29 points in 33 games. So far this year, he has 93 points in 42 games.
“He came here last year at Christmastime,” says Jim Midgley, assistant coach for the Halifax Mooseheads. “He’s a little bigger, stronger. He’s used to the league now.”
“My confidence went up,” says Drouin. “I play a lot more minutes than I did last year.”
MacKinnon knows his teammate’s success is not just good luck.
“He didn’t get that skill overnight, he’s been working on it for years now,” says MacKinnon.
Part of Drouin’s routine includes skating sessions in the off-season with an Olympic figure skater.
“I went to Toronto with Barb Underhill, power skating, she does Maple Leafs, she really helped my skating,” says Drouin.
The Mooseheads clinched first place in the league with their victory on Sunday. Drouin also became the league’s point leader yesterday, despite playing 17 fewer games than the player in second place.
Still, the team and Drouin are focused on what’s ahead.
“We got to get ready for the playoffs,” says Drouin.
The team is also winning at the gate, with five sold-out games so far this year, with four more home games left.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant