Herd head coach Dominique Ducharme says “well-balanced” roster almost complete

Kristen Lipscombe, Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - Like a chef adding the last ingredients to his signature dish, head coach Dominique Ducharme has a few final touches to make before finalizing the upcoming season’s Halifax Mooseheads roster.

Halifax Mooseheads head coach Dominique Ducharme said Sunday the 2014-15 roster is close to finalized.

But the recipe for QMJHL success is almost complete.

“We’re close,” he said Sunday, adding there are “maybe one or two” cuts still to be made before the 2014-15 team is unveiled.

There are now 26 players left at training camp, which started Aug. 12 and continues this week at Cole Harbour Place. The Herd has released 14 players already, including four announced Sunday.

“We don’t have a time line set,” Ducharme said of making final decisions. “We’re happy with the new guys coming in, and we like working with them as long as we can.”

Along with on-ice practices and off-ice workouts, training camp has featured a three-game intrasquad series and four exhibition games.

The Herd hopefuls have so far split their pre-season games, with two wins and two losses, including falling 1-0 in a shootout to the Saint John Sea Dogs last Friday at Harbour Station and edging the same team 4-3 in another shootout Saturday at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre in Truro.

Halifax scored three straight goals in Saturday’s win, with second-year winger Vincent Watt and returning blueliner Matt Murphy both contributing in the first, and forward Kelly Bent, acquired off waivers from Saint John last week, notching one in the second.

Returning forward Samuel LeBlanc scored the Herd’s game-winner in the shootout.

“We’ve seen some good things, and some things that we need to improve,” Ducharme said of the pres-season schedule, which concludes with a game against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Sept. 6 at the Emera Centre in north Sydney. “At (this) time of year, it’s just a normal thing.”

The Mooseheads fell to the Screaming Eagles 4-3 in exhibition action Aug. 17 at Centre 200 in Sydney. They also edged the Sea Dogs 3-2 the night before that at the Dartmouth Sportsplex.

“Every game, we’re trying to mix it up a bit … and give everyone an opportunity to show what they (can do),” Ducharme said of players and staff alike getting used to new team dynamics.

“I think we’re well-balanced,” he said of how his Herd is taking shape. “It’s a good mix of older guys, with good young guys coming in … it’s going to bring good energy.”

Organizations: Harbour Station, Rath Eastlink Community Centre, Emera Centre Centre 200

Geographic location: Sydney, Truro, Saint John

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