Arnaud Durandeau had the most productive game of his QMJHL career with two goals and two assists and the Mooseheads romped over Acadie-Bathurst 6-1 on Monday night in Halifax. The win improves the Mooseheads record to 38-12-2-1 and has the team in first place in the Eastern Conference with 79 points. Baie-Comeau also has 79 points but Halifax holds the tie-breaker.
These teams were playing a makeup game from one that was postponed on Friday due to freezing rain and the Mooseheads continued their season-long domination of the Titan by picking up their eighth win in as many games. The Herd fired 46 shots on losing goalie Mark Grametbauer while Cole McLaren earned his 12th victory with 18 saves.
The New York Islanders prospect, Durandeau, contributed assists on two of the Mooseheads first three goals and then scored a pair of back-to-back tallies 2:27 apart in the third period. The Beaconsfield, QC native was named the first star and is closing in on his career high points total of 53 set last season. Durandeau has 26 goals and 25 assists for 51 points in 53 games played. He also has the sixth best ironman streak in the history of the franchise going with appearances in 119 consecutive games. His four-point effort helped him surpass Otto Somppi, Petr Vrana and Tomas Knotek and take over sole possession of 14th all-time in Mooseheads scoring with 174 points.
Halifax started a bit slow in the game and the Titan took advantage as Mathieu Desgagnes struck on a delayed penalty call at 9:12 of the opening period. Evan MacKinnon found Desgagnes on the doorstep with a pass in front for the only shot to beat McLaren on the night.
It was all Mooseheads after the Titan goal as Samuel Asselin tied things up 1-1 only eight seconds into a power play with his league-leading 41st goal of the year. Like Durandeau, Asselin is closing in on some elite territory in team history. Only seven players have ever scored 45 or more goals in one season in a Mooseheads uniform and Asselin has another 15 games to get there.
Xavier Parent scored what turned out to be the game-winner 42 seconds after the Asselin goal and Halifax was off to the races. Patty Kyte made it 3-1 just before the end of the first period when his shot went through a screen to beat Grametbauer at the 19:18 mark. After the teams played a scoreless middle stanza, Durandeau picked up two quick ones and Antoine Morand put the icing on the cake with his third point of the night to finish off the 6-1 victory. Morand had two assists to go with his goal to join Durandeau, Asselin and Jared McIsaac (two assists) as players with multi-point efforts.
The game marked a return to the lineup for rookie forward Marcel Barinka who had been away representing the Czech Republic at the 5 Nations tournament in Sochi, Russia. Barinka had four assists for the Czechs in the event and the team was ousted following a semi-final loss to the United States.
Another makeup game is on tap for Tuesday night in Moose Country as Halifax welcomes Saint John in a game that was originally schedueled for November 16th. Puck drop is 7pm at Scotiabank Centre. 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.