To say things went well on the road on Wednesday night for the Mooseheads would be an understatement. The team got two goals each from Arnaud Durandeau and Benoit-Olivier Groulx in a dominating 8-2 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Ostap Safin, Marcel Barinka, Antoine Morand and Samuel Asselin added singles in the win as Halifax improved to 14-4-1-0 on the season.
Halifax had the goal judge busy by scoring three times in the first period, three times in the second and twice in the third period while out-shooting the Titan 37-18 in the game.
The evening started with a bang as Newfoundlanders Joel Bishop and Liam Leonard dropped the gloves just 3:04 into the contest. The players traded blows in a good tilt that the decision would likely go to Bishop. The early fireworks seemed to ignite the Mooseheads’ momentum as Ostap Safin buried his first goal with the team a couple of minutes later and the Herd never looked back. The big Czech forward kept the play onside just inside the blueline by forcing a Bathurst turnover. Patty Kyte then sent a pass in front to Marcel Barinka who crossed it over to Safin and he wired one by goalie Mark Grametbauer at 5:24. The goal was Safin’s first of the season and first as a member of the Mooseheads.
Halifax kept the pressure on with goals from Marcel Barinka and Antoine Morand before the 11 minute mark. Liam Murphy got the Titan on the board when he scored on a breakaway late in the period. Walter Flower’s stick broke on a point shot and Murphy was off to the races.
With the Moose ahead 3-1 in the second period, Benoit-Olivier Groulx continued his magic on the power play. The Anaheim Ducks draft pick tipped in a Jared McIsaac shot to make it a 4-1 game. The goal was Groulx’s fourth on the man adantage in his last three games. Murphy scored his second of the night 2:22 later to cut the lead in half 4-2 and give the Titan some hope, but Halifax put their foot down on the gas pedal for the rest of the night. Arnaud Durandeau had two straight tallies, his first was a highlight reel style snipe from in tight on Grametbauer and his second was the result of a great feed across from Jordan Maher. The Mooseheads took a 6-2 lead to the dressing room after 40 minutes and weren’t done yet.
Durandeau worked hard to steal the puck on the forecheck and then tossed it in front to a wide open Groulx who notched his second of the game 4:03 into the third period. Samuel Asselin capped off the scoring frenzy just over three minutes later and the Herd killed the clock the rest of the way.
Cole McLaren wasn’t overly busy in his outing. The Annapolis Royal, NS native made 16 saves to improve to 4-0 this season. Grametbauer was on the hook for all eight Mooseheads goals and stopped 29 of 37 shots.
3 Stars: Jordan Maher was a +3 in the game and had one assist against his former team to earn the first star. Liam Murphy’s two goals gave him the nod as second star and Arnaud Durandeau took the third star with two goals and one assist.
Multi-Point Efforts: The Mooseheads had four players with two or more points. Groulx (2 goals 1 assist), Durandeau (2 goals 1 assist), Barinka (1 goal 1 assist), Patty Kyte (3 assists).
Lineup Notes: Jocktan Chainey returned after missing two games with a minor injury. Walter Flower was questionable after blocking a shot on Sunday but was able to play and chipped in with an assist. Brock McLeod was a healthy scratch after the warm up. Cole Stewart remains out with an upper body injury while Kyle Petten and Samuel Dube also remained sidelined with injuries.
Next Game(s): The Mooseheads play host to Cape Breton on Friday night at 7pm in the 15th Annual DND Appreciation Game. The team will wear special jerseys to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of 12 Wing Shearwater. The jerseys will be raffled off during the game with funds raised going to the QEII Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Gardens. Halifax will also entertain Acadie-Bathurst on Saturday night 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.