Goals were plentiful for the Mooseheads this weekend at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax and thankfully not so much for the opposition. Cole McLaren stopped 14 shots for the shutout as the Moose blanked the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 6-0 Saturday evening in front of 7,384 appreciative fans.
The victory is the Mooseheads’ fourth in a row to improve to 21-7-1-0 and they will look to continue the recent surge Sunday afternoon on the road in Charlottetown.
McLaren was sharp when he needed to be and now has a QMJHL leading three shutouts in just seven starts. BO Groulx scored twice while Ben Higgins, Xavier Parent, Arnaud Durandeau and Jake Ryczek also lit the lamp. Alternate captain Samuel Asselin chipped in with three assists and was happy with how his team did their job.
“We were just trying to play the right way and when you do play the right way, good things happen,” Asselin said.
Halifax didn’t overwhelm the Titan in shots as the final tally was 26-14 but they made the most of their chances while dominating the puck possession game. The Herd scored twice in the first period, three times in the second and once in the third in the win. Bathurst starting goalie Tyriq Outen was pulled after 40 minutes of action as he allowed five goals on 17 shots. His replacement Mark Grametbauer stopped eight of nine.
The two-game homestand saw the Mooseheads outscore Saint John and Acadie-Bathurst 16-2. Asselin leads the team in points this season with 38 and expects Sunday’s meeting in Charlottetown to be a little more difficult.
“We’re looking forward to that game. It’s going to be a tough game, they are just behind us in the standings so it’s going to be a four-point night.”
Next Game: The Mooseheads and Islanders face off Sunday at 3pm. Halifax will close out the first half of the season with a trio of home games as they host Cape Breton on Wednesday night, Moncton’s in town for the Teddy Bear Toss on Friday and Charlottetown visits the Herd next Saturday. All games start at 7pm.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.
3 Stars: Ben Higgins was named the first star. His slap shot from the circle in the final minute of the second period was a rocket that beat Outen for his fourth goal of the season. Xavier Parent had a strong night and scored the only power play goal of the game to earn the second star and Cole McLaren’s shutout helped him pick up the third star.