High-scoring Mooseheads finding consistency, moving up standings
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Fresh off a Thanksgiving feast at the expense of the Saint John Sea Dogs, the Halifax Mooseheads are hungry to continue their winning ways.
The Mooseheads, who tied a franchise record in an 11-2 shellacking of the two-time defending QMJHL champion Sea Dogs on Saturday night, have won four straight games heading into Wednesday night’s tilt against the Moncton Wildcats at the Metro Centre.
A wobbly opening weekend at home — featuring a 6-1 loss to the Gatineau Olympiques — appears to be firmly in the Mooseheads’ rear-view mirror.
“I think we’ve improved our consistency in our game,” said Mooseheads forward Nathan MacKinnon, who had a hat trick and an assist in a first-star performance on Saturday.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs so far. But it was like that last year at the beginning, too. We got better as the year went on.”
With the help of Saturday’s stat-padding win, the Mooseheads sit third in the QMJHL with a 6-1 record, while their offence, averaging 5.2 goals per game, is No. 1 in the league.
A big part of their success has been an all-out assault on opposing goaltenders. They’ve had 45 or more shots three times in seven games while averaging a league-high 40.8 per game.
“We’re playing more of a mature game,” said Mooseheads winger Luca Ciampini, who also had a hat trick in Saturday’s win.
“We aren’t losing our heads and we’re just keeping it simple compared to other games.”
The Wildcats, who the Mooseheads eliminated in last year’s QMJHL first round, were among the pre-season favourites. But they’ve started slow, near the bottom of the QMJHL standings with a 3-4 record.
“We’ve got a big rivalry with them, especially after last year’s playoffs,” said defenceman Steve Gillard. “They always come out strong against us so we have to be ready to go.”