The Halifax Mooseheads had the firepower on full display on Saturday night in a 9-0 blowout win over the visiting Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
The game was never in doubt as the Herd scored early and often while Cole McLaren did everything that was expected of him at the other end of the ice making 29 saves for his second shutout of the season. Samuel Asselin had a big night on the scoresheet with two goals and three assists while his linemates Ostap Safin and Marcel Barinka also enjoyed plenty of success. Barinka scored twice while Safin had a goal and three helpers.
The Mooseheads improved their record to 16-4-1-0 with the win which was their third in as many meeting vs Bathurst this season. Halifax has outscored the defending Memorial Cup champions 22-2 in the three games.
The power play was firing on all cylinders again for the Herd by going 4-for-6 in the game. Benoit-Olivier Groulx got the party started on the man advantage just 1:56 into the game and that proved to be all the offense that would be needed. Barinka, Asselin and Joel Bishop also tallied in the opening period as Halifax built up a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Titan starting goalie Tyriq Outen was chased after three goals on eight shots in the opening 8:25. Mark Grametbauer came on in relief and allowed six goals on 39 shots.
Barinka’s second of the game was perhaps the prettiest of all the goals scored as he passes the puck back and forth in a tic-tac-toe play with Safin to make it 5-0 early in the second period. Safin scored one of his own about six minutes later on the power play for a 6-0 lead and the Herd had things in full control.
Asselin and Bishop each scored their second goals of the game in the third period with one from Antoine Morand sandwiched in between and the crowd of 8,086 were treated to a fun night at the rink. The five-point effort from Asselin was a career best while his 15 goals this season is already two more than he had all of last season. His eight power play goals are the most in the QMJHL and Benoit-Olivier Groulx’s six power play tallies are tied for second most in the league.
The numbers have been good for Cole McLaren this season. He is 5-0 and the shutout helped lower his goals against average to 1.59 and improved his save percentage to an astounding .942.
Three Stars: Samuel Asselin was named the first star with two goals and three assists, Marcel Barinka’s two goals earned him second star and Ostap Safin grabbed the third star with one goal and three assists.
Remembrance Day: The Mooseheads will gather as a team and Joel Bishop will have the honours of laying a wreath during Sunday’s Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Grand Parade in Halifax.
Canada/Russia: Antoine Morand, Jared McIsaac, Justin Barron, Jocktan Chainey, Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Raphael Lavoie will leave the team Monday to join Team QMJHL for the Canada-Russia Series to be held Tuesday in Sherbrooke, QC and Thursday in Drummondville, QC.
Next Game: The Mooseheads will play host to the Saint John Sea Dogs next Friday night at 7pm for 90’s night in Halifax. The first 4,000 fans will receive a special 90’s themed Mooseheads T-Shirt. Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com, the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square or charge by phone 902-451-1221.