Andrews has experienced the ups and downs of major junior hockey

Jason Malloy
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Hunter River native returns to Halifax Mooseheads lineup tonight


Brent Andrews has been at both ends of the standings during his five-year career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

His Halifax Mooseheads team won a combined 33 games in his first two seasons. They would win 39, 58 and 47 the next three seasons, including a President's Cup and Memorial Cup run last season.

"We've come a long way," Andrews said Thursday. "It's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. The first two seasons we weren't a real great team. (We had) lots of ups and downs along the way, but I really wouldn't have it any other way. It's been a great journey."

The final chapter will be written in the coming weeks as the Mooseheads look for another deep playoff run after eliminating the Charlottetown Islanders in the first round.

"For me, it's been a great ride here in Halifax," Andrews said. "I definitely want to leave on a really good note."

The Mooseheads' turnaround was boosted in 2011when it drafted or acquired Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Zachary Fucale. The next season they fell behind to the Quebec Remparts 3-0, but won four straight games to advance to the semifinal.

Andrews, a 21-year-old centre from Hunter River, said the team was full of intangibles.

"We might not have been the most skilled team or the oldest team, but we definitely had a lot of guys with character,. It was invaluable for the year after that."

Andrews only played one of the four games in the first-round series due to an upper body injury.

He said it was tough not being able to play, particularly in the final two games in Charlottetown.

"You never want to be up in the stands seeing your teammates out on the ice, especially this time of the year in playoffs," Andrews said.

"I'm just happy the guys got the win and I got to get the rest that was needed."

The two-way centre said he feels 100 per cent and is looking to contribute in the second round, starting tonight when the Mooseheads host the Gatineau Olympiques at 7 p.m.

"They're not going to mess around," Andrews said. "We know we have to bring our best game. We can't take a shift off against them."

Halifax finished second in the league during the regular season and has been considered a favourite to repeat all year. Being the defending Memorial Cup champs comes with a target, Andrews said.

"Everyone wants to beat the team that was on top" he said. "This is a new year, new team.

"We just have to do play our game. It doesn't matter what happened last year, it's all in the past. It's what we want to do this year" that matters.

The next jersey the centre will wear will be the UPEI Panthers. Andrews, along with teammate Darcy Ashley, committed before Christmas to UPEI for next season.

"He's one of my best friends," Andrews said. "We wanted to be able to go somewhere together and start that next part of our lives together with a good friend to lean on."

Ashley will miss tonight's game after being injured in the Charlottetown series.

Need To Know

Brent Andrews

Who - A six-foot-two, 207-pound centre with the Halifax Mooseheads hockey team.

Hometown - Hunter River.

Age - 21.

Stats -

Season     GP G A Pts

2009-10    64 7 9 16

2010-11    68 12 17 29

2011-12    61 13 17 30

2012-13    67 15 30 45

2013-14    63 28 41 69

Career   323 75 114 189

How They're Doing

Former Rocket/Islanders statistics from the first round:

Louick Marcotte, Val-d'Or

GP G A Pts

4 3 4 7

Jack Nevins, Rouyun-Noranda

GP G A Pts

5 3 3 6

Yan-Pavel Laplante, Victoriaville

GP G A Pts

5 3 3 6

Julien Leduc, Victoriaville

GP G A Pts

5 3 1 4

Alexis Pépin, Gatineau

GP G A Pts

4 3 1 4

Jimmy Oligny, Rimouski

GP G A Pts

4 2 1 3

Deverick Ottereyes, Gatineau

GP G A Pts

4 0 1 1

Ryan Graves, Val-d'Or

GP G A Pts

4 0 1 1

Beau Rusk, Rimouski

GP G A Pts

2 1 0 1

Victor Provencher, Chicoutimi

GP G A Pts

4 0 1 1

Matt Bursey, Blainville-Boisbriand

GP G A Pts

6 0 0 0

Antoine Bibeau, Val-d'Or

GP GAA Sav%

4 1.05 .941

 

Statistics for players from P.E.I. players in the first round:

Darcy Ashley, Halifax

GP G A Pts

3 1 2 3

Brent Andrews, Halifax

GP G A Pts

1 0 0 0

Ryan MacKinnon, Rimouski

GP G A Pts

4 0 2 2

Ross Johnston, Victoriaville

GP G A Pts

5 0 3 3

Organizations: Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Islanders

Geographic location: Hunter River, Charlottetown, Val-d'Or P.E.I.

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