HALIFAX — The Halifax Mooseheads, buoyed by 10,000 Moose faithful, pretty much controlled the entire 60 minutes in rolling to a 4-2 win over the Guelph Storm.
And they were quick to credit the crowd with helping them do it.
Mooseheads coach Eric Veilleux said that once again, the crowd played a key role in getting his team off to a quick start.
"You saw the crowd, giving us a little boost at the start of the game," Veilleux said. "We started the game with lots of energy."
He said killing off three Guelph penalties in the first period also helped Halifax gain some important momentum.
"Even though the amount of shots were in Guelph's favour, I thought that five-on-five we were pretty good," Veilleux said."
Halifax is now 2-0 at the tournament and a win Wednesday over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in their final round-robin game will propel them straight into Sunday's final.
Guelph falls to 1-1 and plays Prince Albert on Tuesday.
Monday's game features Rouyn-Noranda and Prince Albert in a battle of 0-1 teams.
Halifax defenceman Patrick Kyte, a one-time Guelph Storm draft pick, said his team stayed calm and patient.
"We knew they're a skilled team with a lot of depth in their forwards and we just focused on staying inside, especially against their top guys, playing well defensively and Gravel played amazing," Kyte said.
Halifax's next game is Wednesday when they play the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. A win puts them straight in the final.
"We're excited to play them, especially with what happened in the (QMJHL) final, but we're not focused too much on that game. We're just ready to play the rest of the tournament," Kyte said.
If there's any consolation to what happened to the Storm it's that they realize themselves that they turned in a stinker.
Turnovers, losing puck battles, bad penalties: it was all on display.
"Tonight wasn't our best effort and everybody who's seen us played before knows that," said Storm defenceman Sean Durzi. "All we can do now is just rest and prepare for the next one.
"That wasn't a good effort and a lot of that comes down to us ... they wanted it more tonight and it definitely showed," Durzi said.
Storm captain Isaac Ratcliffe agreed with his teammate, saying Halifax won most of the battles and capitalized on their chances.
"This one's on us. They didn't do anything too special tonight, but we gave them a lot of chances and that can't happen in this tournament."
Ratcliffe said the Storm was chasing the game on Sunday.
Halifax scored five minutes into the game and Durzi tied it in the final minute of the first.
But the Mooseheads took over the game in the second period on the scoreboard and on the ice, putting two past Storm netminder Anthony Popovich to take a 3-1 lead into the third.
Durzi scored early in the third but that was negated by a Halifax goal at the 7:20 mark by Samuel Asselin.
After that Guelph had very few good scoring chances and chose not to pull the goalie down by two on a late power play.