Geordon Omand - Metro Halifax
© JEFF HARPER - METRO HALIFAX
Halifax Mooseheads Danny Moynihan, front, and his teammate Luca Ciampini celebrate a goal over the Gatineau Olympiques.
This one wasn’t even close.
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.
“We wanted to play better than we did last night,” said star rookie Nikolaj Ehlers, who put in two markers for the Herd.
“We wanted to get better the whole time and I think we did a great job… We’ve just got to keep going on like this.”
Gatineau managed to tie up the game 1-1 midway through the first frame, but it wasn’t 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.
Saturday’s win — the Mooseheads nineteenth straight — followed a much tighter 4-1 victory on Friday.
“Last game wasn’t our best game — we came out with a win but we weren’t happy with how we played,” said Mooseheads defenceman Austyn Hardie.
“We just wanted to come out hard today and, you know what, we did it.”
Special teams have been key to the Mooseheads success against the Olympiques, with seven of the Herd’s 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.
“I think if we don’t get that message we’ll never get it,” said a frustrated Groulx, saying his team lacked discipline.
“Their top two lines are eating our top two lines alive,” he added.
“We got kicked… Their speed’s killing us. I think our goalie is doing well but we don’t generate much and to me that’s the story of the two games right now.”
But his team finally seems to be catching on.
“We gave them too many opportunities to score,” said Olympiques forward Martin Reway.
“We didn’t learn from yesterday,” added the 19 year old, originally from the Czech Republic.
“We’ve got to stay disciplined.”
Besides Ehlers’ two markers, Mackenzie Weegar, Andrew Shewfelt, Philippe Gadoury and Matt Murphy — with his first of the playoffs — 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.