HALIFAX - This one wasnât even close.
© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Halifax Mooseheads Jesse Lussier, left, and Gatineau Olympiques Vincent Dunn fight for the puck.
The Halifax Mooseheads opened strong and just kept coming to finish 6-2 against the Gatineau Olympiques, taking a dominating 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven quarter-final series on Saturday.
âWe wanted to play better than we did last night,â said star rookie Nikolaj Ehlers, who put in two markers for the Herd.
âWe wanted to get better the whole time and I think we did a great jobâŠ Weâve just got to keep going on like this.â
Gatineau managed to tie up the game 1-1 midway through the first frame, but it wasnât enough, as the Moose fired back with three unanswered second period goals.
Not even a late third-period, 5-on-3 tally from the Olympiques could faze the unrelenting home squad, who outshot their opponents 31-27, finishing the game up by four goals.
Saturdayâs win â the Mooseheads nineteenth straight â followed a much tighter 4-1 victory on Friday.
âLast game wasnât our best game â we came out with a win but we werenât happy with how we played,â said Mooseheads defenceman Austyn Hardie.
âWe just wanted to come out hard today and, you know what, we did it.â
Special teams have been key to the Mooseheads success against the Olympiques, with seven of the Herdâs 10 goals coming on power plays.
The Moose tallied during half of their eight power plays on Saturday, a fact not missed by Olympiques coach Benoit Groulx.
âI think if we donât get that message weâll never get it,â said a frustrated Groulx, saying his team lacked discipline.
âTheir top two lines are eating our top two lines alive,â he added.
âWe got kickedâŠ Their speedâs killing us. I think our goalie is doing well but we donât generate much and to me thatâs the story of the two games right now.â
But his team finally seems to be catching on.
âWe gave them too many opportunities to score,â said Olympiques forward Martin Reway.
âWe didnât learn from yesterday,â added the 19 year old, originally from the Czech Republic.
âWeâve got to stay disciplined.â
Besides Ehlersâ two markers, Mackenzie Weegar, Andrew Shewfelt, Philippe Gadoury and Matt Murphy â with his first of the playoffs â rounded out the scoring for the Mooseheads.
Reway and Vincent Dunn responded for the Olympiques.
Ehlers added two assists for a four-point game, while Jonathan Drouin picked up four helpers.
The Herd have some breathing room before Game 3 of the quarter-final playoff series, scheduled for Tuesday in Gatineau.