Top News

Mooseheads pump Sea Dogs again

Halifax Mooseheads forward Marcel Barinka opens the scoring as he puts one past Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender Zachary Bouthillier in the first period of Saturday's QMJHL game at the Scotiabank Centre. (ERIC WYNNE/Chronicle Herald)
Halifax Mooseheads forward Marcel Barinka opens the scoring as he puts one past Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender Zachary Bouthillier in the first period of Saturday's QMJHL game at the Scotiabank Centre. (ERIC WYNNE/Chronicle Herald)

It was another mismatch at the Scotiabank Centre on Saturday night.
The Halifax Mooseheads toyed with the Saint John Sea Dogs on home ice for the second time in 11 days, crushing them 11-1 in front of 8,708 fans. The Mooseheads also beat the Sea Dogs 10-2 in Halifax on Feb. 12 and shut them out 4-0 in Saint John on Monday.
"When the team can score a lot of goals like that it's a fun night for everyone," said Halifax forward Bo Groulx. "Everyone got involved in the game and I thought it was a great effort by our team."
The Mooseheads scored three goals in each of the first two periods to go up 6-0 after 40 minutes and then kept piling on in the third. It was never close and was another example of what happens when a stacked Memorial Cup host faces a young team that is in a deep rebuild.
"The coach (Eric Veilleux) always wants us to keep playing hard and the right way no matter what the score is," said Halifax forward Xavier Parent. "We don't want to go into a trap or anything like that. We have to keep shooting and skating. I think it showed that we played the whole 60 minutes tonight.
"Eric knows a lot about the game. He was just coaching in the AHL and he has a lot of experience in this league too. We know if we listen to him and play the way he wants us to we can go on a good run in the playoffs."
The game also featured a new franchise record. The Mooseheads extended a shutout streak that started 32 seconds into the third period of a 7-2 win over the Gatineau Olympiques on Feb. 16. Including back-to-back shutouts leading up to Saturday's game, they ran the perfect stretch to a total of 193 minutes and 25 seconds without a goal against. Filip Prikryl ended the streak with a power-play goal at the 11:57 mark of the third period.
"For sure that's nice, especially when it's the defensive part of the game that gets rewarded," Groulx said. "We're very honoured by that because that means we're doing a good job at that part of the game.
"We're getting prepared for the playoffs and that's when you need to be tighter defensively. We're trying to mimic that right now."
Raphael Lavoie and Keith Getson, with two each, Groulx, Parent, Marcel Barinka, Arnaud Durandeau, Ben Higgins, Jake Ryczek and Antoine Morand had the Halifax goals. Groulx also added three assists to finish with four points and Getson, Durandeau, Higgins, Parent and Lavoie all had three-point nights.
"Everyone contributed and even the fourth line got involved," Groulx said. "Brock McLeod had a great game and Keith Getson had some huge goals for us on the third line. He also played really well, just like a lot of other guys. We're really fortunate to have so much depth on our team."
Cole McLaren turned aside 25 shots in the Halifax net and came within 8:03 of securing his fifth shutout of the season, which would have put him in a tie for second most in the QMJHL. Zachary Bouthillier and Mathias Savoie combined to make 36 saves for Saint John.
"That would've been nice for Cole," Groulx said. "We made one mistake defensively on the PK and they scored. But Cole still played very well. He made some huge saves for us at the start of the game so he should be really proud."
The win was the Mooseheads' sixth in a row in what has been their most dominant stretch of the season. They have outscored their opponents 41-6 during that time.
"The past six or seven games we've been playing really well; we've been playing the right way," Parent said. "Last game against them was 4-0 and they played hard so we wanted to have a good start and take control. That worked well for us."
Halifax improves its record to 43-12-2-1 and Saint John falls to 12-42-2-2. There are only 10 games left in the Mooseheads' season.
"We feel really good about how we've been playing but we still have a lot of injured guys so it will be nice to have everyone ready for the playoffs," Parent said. "It will be good to have the whole team."
Ostap Safin, Jocktan Chainey, Maxim Trepanier, Alexis Sansfacon and Cole Stewart did not play for Halifax.
The Mooseheads' next game is at home on Sunday against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

Recent Stories