Beyond the Headlines

The comeback kids

Posted: Apr 18, 2012 8:38 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 18, 2012 8:38 AM ET
There is a lot of talk these days about the state of our national game. Much of it negative.
 
The NHL has had a couple of concussion-plagued seasons. And the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs has seen a string of nasty, violent incidents that has many fans shaking their heads in disgust.
 
So leave it to a bunch of kids to remind us why we love this game.
 
The Halifax Mooseheads playoff series with the Quebec Remparts was everything that hockey should be. Young men, playing their hearts out, refusing to give up, refusing to admit defeat, and in the end proving that sometimes -- just sometimes --  if we work hard enough we can succeed.
 
By now, you know the story. The Mooseheads lost the first three games, then clawed their way back to tie the series. That set up last night's epic game in Quebec City.
 
Playing in front of more than 11,000 hostile fans, and facing legendary coach Patrick Roy (who as an NHL player was renowned for his playoff heroics), these kids could have easily folded.
 
And they are just kids. Even by major junior hockey standards, the Mooseheads are a young team. Goalie Zachary Fucale, and forwards Ryan Falkenham and Nathan MacKinnon, are just 16 years old. Talented rookie Jonathan Drouin turned 17 last month.
 
But Tuesday night it was the old guys' turn to lead. With the Mooseheads trailing 3-1, Cameron Critchlow, the team's 20 year-old captain, simply refused to let his season, and his junior career come to an end. Critchlow scored all 4 goals in regulation, including the tieing goal, with just 7:28 left in the 3rd period.Then 14:48 into the first overtime, Drouin scored and the comeback kids had done it again.
 
The headline on the Mooseheads website says it all:  "Unbelievable".
 
The Moosheads are back. There is a buzz and excitement in this city that we haven't seen in years.
 
No matter what happens in the next round, the Mooseheads have already done Halifax proud. They have rekindled our love of the game, and they have given Haligonians something to cheer about, something this city sorely needs right now.
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About the Author

Brian DuBreuil is a veteran journalist with CBC News. He has won two Gemini awards for his work, and neither involved dancing or singing on a reality show.

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