Geordon Omand - Metro Halifax
For Halifax Mooseheads coach Dominque Ducharme, it will be about maintaining the momentum in Gatineau.
Ducharme’s squad is up 2-0 as they prepare to face off against the Olympiques for Game 3 of the best-of-seven quarter-final series on Tuesday night.
“We want to take our game that we played Saturday, take that on the road, and make it better,” he said.
The team is finding their stride against the eighth-seeded squad and improving with each game, according to the Mooseheads’ bench boss.
The visiting Olympiques put up a valiant effort in Friday’s series opener but ultimately couldn’t stand up to a late-game charge by the Moose, who tallied three goals in the third frame for a 4-1 win.
“As a team we thought we could do better after Game 1,” said Ducharme.
And better they did.
Game 2 on Saturday was anything but a repeat of the previous evening’s hard-fought matchup.
The Herd kept their opponents firmly on their heels the entire 60 minutes, taking advantage of ample power-play opportunities to put in four markers.
The visiting squad simply couldn’t recover.
The Moose used their depth to control the play during most of Saturday’s game, driving to a commanding 4-1 lead with three second-period goals.
Despite outshooting the Moose 12-7 in the final frame, the Olympiques only managed to put one more past goalie Zachary Fucale, who notched an assist for himself earlier in the game.
“Everyone is chipping in in different ways and that’s what we need,” said Ducharme.
The game ended 6-2 for the Moose — their 19th-straight win dating back to the regular season
Facing the Olympiques on their home turf is sure to change the game dynamic, but Ducharme doesn’t want to distract his team from what they can’t control.
“We played 34 games on the road this season, 34 at home — we’re used to it,” said Ducharme.
Forward Darcy Ashley remains out with an upper-body injury and won’t be playing in Game 3.
Ehlers, Drouin shine as the Halifax Mooseheads continue their playoff streak
What shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, leading the charge for the Mooseheads against the Olympiques are Ehlers and Jonathan Drouin.
The two star forwards are one-two in QMJHL playoff scoring. Drouin has 19 points, including six goals, while Ehlers has 16 points.
“We just want to get better the whole time,” said Ehlers after Saturday’s Game 2 win. “We have a great team chemistry… We just got to keep going on like this.”
In his first season with the Herd, Ehlers’s speed and skill has been turning heads. That’s both within the league and amongst NHL scouts.
“He had a really solid season,” said Mooseheads coach Dominique Ducharme.
“He’s got those skills around the net, he’s got those abilities… When you do little things you get rewarded.”
Although goal-less so far in the second round, Drouin has shone as a playmaker for the Herd, notching six assists in two games.
That included four helpers in Saturday’s 6-2 win.