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Stage set for Mooseheads' biggest game of the season

Halifax begins final Quebec road trip in Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday night against the Huskies who have won 22 in a row
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(Photo credit: David Chan Photography)

The Mooseheads are Quebec-bound for the final time during the regular season and the stage is set for their biggest game of the year.

On Saturday night, the Mooseheads kick off their last road trip of the 2018-19 QMJHL campaign in Rouyn-Noranda against the Huskies.

The Huskies, who have lost just two games on home ice this season, are riding a 22-game win streak into the weekend.

The Herd will be putting their own eight-game win streak on the line when the two teams face off at the Aréna Iamgold at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.

The Mooseheads have outscored their opponents a whopping 51-6 since beginning their recent tear back on Feb. 11 with a 6-1 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

On Wednesday, the team wrapped up their latest homestead with another convincing 6-1 defeat of the defending Memorial Cup champions. 

Halifax's second line of Benoit-Olivier "Bo" Groulx, Joel Bishop and Arnaud Durandeau led the way for the Herd, combining for four goals and nine points.

Overager Samuel Asselin scored his league-leading 45th goal of the season while linemate Raphael Lavoie potted his 32nd.

The NHL draft-eligible Lavoie now has 11 goals in his last 12 games.

While the big guns are getting it done offensively, the team is also playing some solid defensive hockey right now.

Over their last 15 periods, netminders Alex Gravel (30-11-1-1, .915 SV%, 2.48 GAA) and back-up Cole McLaren (15-1-1-0, .937 SV% 1.57 GAA) have only given up two goals.

With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, the team appears to be peaking at the right time.

HALIFAX (45-12-2-1, 93 pts) vs ROUYN-NORANDA (52-7-0-1, 105 pts), Saturday at 8 p.m. on NEWS 95.7

Saturday's match-up will be the biggest test of the year for the Mooseheads and the second meeting of the season between these two clubs. 

The Huskies handed the Moosehead a 5-4 defeat back on Jan. 13 at the Scotiabank Centre.

Halifax went up early in that game, taking a 2-0 lead just 2:37 into the first period. 

But the Huskies rallied and Jakub Lauko's 13th goal of the season broke a 4-4 deadlock in the third period, proving to be the game-winning goal.

Samuel Harvey turned aside 24 of 28 to earn the win while Gravel made 33 stops in net for the Mooseheads.

Former Acadie-Bathurst Titan defenceman Noah Dobson, the 12th overall pick of the New York Islanders at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, chipped in an assist on Lauko's winner and has been a big part of his team's success.

The Summerside native has ttwo goals and 26 assists in 20 games with Rouyn-Noranda and has not lost a game in a Huskies uniform.

Halifax will counter with a star blue liner of their own in Jared McIsaac.

Since returning from the World Juniors in early January, McIsaac has racked up 34 points in just 22 games and is currently riding a nine-game point streak.

The puck drops at 8 p.m. on NEWS 95.7.

HALIFAX (45-12-2-1, 93 pts) vs VAL D'OR (21-34-4-1, 47 pts), Sunday at 5 p.m. on NEWS 95.7

The Mooseheads will continue on to Val d'Or on Sunday afternoon.

The Herd defeat the Foreurs 6-2 at the Scotiabank Centre back on Nov. 3, the last time the clubs played.

Walter Flower and Groulx each scored twice for the Mooseheads while Alex Gravel made 21 saves in goal.

The Foreurs have dropped two straight but are 6-4 in their past 10 games.

Val d'Or also holds the distinction of being the last team to defeat Rouyn-Noranda, a 3-2 victory back on Dec. 31.

Julien Tessier (20-34-54 in 53 GP), the Foreurs' leading scorer, notched the game-winning goal late in the third period of that New Year's Eve showdown.

You can listen to Sunday's game live from Val d'Or at 5 p.m. on Dartmouth Dodge Mooseheads Hockey on NEWS 95.7.

Don't forget to stick around after the game for the East Side Mario's Post-Game Show.




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Garreth MacDonald

About the Author: Garreth MacDonald

Garreth MacDonald is the play-by-play voice of the Halifax Mooseheads on NEWS 95.7. Aside from his role with NEWS 95.7, Garreth is also the communications director for Hockey Nova Scotia.
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