After a pair of wins earlier in the week over teams in the basement of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings, the Mooseheads will have their work cut out for them this weekend.
The Herd travels to Centre 200 in Sydney today for a date with the Screaming Eagles (24-14-1-2).
The Eagles will no doubt be looking to avenge an ugly 7-1 road loss to the Mooseheads back on Dec. 31.
For Halifax, the game will serve as a tune-up ahead of a matinee match-up on Sunday with the 32-7-0-1 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, the league’s best team.
The Mooseheads ride a two-game win streak into the weekend following a 5-4 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Tuesday night and a 7-1 shellacking of the Shawinigan Cataractes last night on home ice.
Halifax’s defencemen have helped lead the offensive charge for the team in recent games.
Jake Ryczek (7-17-24 in 35 GP) scored twice on Tuesday evening before Justin Barron (6-21-27 in 40 GP) rushed coast-to-coast and ripped the game-winning goal past Bathurst netminder Mark Grametbauer with less than three minutes to play.
He scored again on Thursday night in Halifax’s 7-1 drubbing of Shawinigan. It was Barron’s fourth goal in the past four games, tying Jasmin Gelinas’ franchise record for goals in consecutive games by a defenceman set back in 2000.
Jared McIsaac (9-18-27 in 26 GP) added a pair of goals and an assist and blue liner Patty Kyte (6-14-20 in 40 GP) opened the scoring for the Herd with his sixth tally of the season in front of almost 7,000 fans at the Scotiabank Centre.
Rookie goaltender Cole McLaren (8-1-1, .963 SV%, 1.67 GAA) turned aside 26 pucks as he picked up his eighth win.
It was Halifax’s second win of the year over the lowly Cataractes.
The Mooseheads have picked up points in all but one game since their 5-2 victory in Shawinigan back on Nov. 30, posting a 12-1-1-1 record.
HALIFAX (29-8-2-1) vs CAPE BRETON (24-14-1-2), Friday at 7 p.m. on NEWS 95.7
The Battle of Nova Scotia was a little lopsided the last time these provincial rivals met on New Year's Eve at the Scotiabank Centre.
The Mooseheads thrashed the Screaming Eagles 7-1 in the second game of the Hurley Cup home-and-home series.
The Eagles are coming off a 6-2 win over the Charlottetown Islanders on Wednesday night.
Mitchell Balmas (1 G, 2 A), Egor Sokolov (2 G, 1 A), and Cape Breton captain Declan Smith (1 G, 2 A) each had three-point nights for Cape Breton.
Rookie William Grimard made 27 stops in the win.
HALIFAX (29-8-2-1) vs ROUYN-NORANDA (32-7-0-1), Sunday at 3 p.m. on NEWS 95.7
On Sunday afternoon, the Mooseheads will take on the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in a matinee match-up at the Scotiabank Centre.
The game will cap off a busy weekend of hockey for the Q’s top team who face Moncton and Charlottetown over the next two days.
The Huskies were a busy team during the trade period, adding Montreal Canadiens prospect Joel Teasdale from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and 2018 New York Islanders first rounder Noah Dobson from the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Dobson hasn’t played a game in the Q since his Titan fell 6-0 to the Mooseheads back on Dec. 8.
He’ll make his Huskies debut tonight in Moncton.
Rouyn-Noranda also added some scoring depth in Louis-Filip Cote, a first round pick of the Huskies in 2015 who was dealt to the Quebec Remparts during his rookie campaign.
The moves help bolster a Rouyn-Noranda lineup that already boasts one of the league’s top netminders in overager Samuel Harvey (19-7, .921 SV%, 2.14 GAA) and the Q’s second leading scorer in Peter Abbandonato (19-48-67 in 40 GP).
You can catch all of the play-by-play action live at 3 p.m. on Dartmouth Dodge Mooseheads Hockey on NEWS 95.7.
Be sure to tune in to the Burrito Jax Pre-Game Show at 2:30 and stick around after the game for the East Side Mario’s Post-Game Show.