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Mooseheads beat Drakkar to grab a 2-0 lead in the QMJHL final

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The Canadian Press
5/4/2013 9:13:09 PM
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HALIFAX -- Make it 14 in a row for the Halifax Mooseheads.

Matthew Boudreau had a goal and two assists Saturday as Halifax won its 14th game in a row, 4-3 over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar to grab a 2-0 lead in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final.

The Canadian Hockey League's top-ranked team relied on clutch performances from its veterans as Baie-Comeau kept Halifax's young guns -- Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon -- in check for the second straight game.

Overagers Stephen MacAulay and Konrad Abeltshauser scored first-period goals for the Mooseheads while 20-year-old Stefan Fournier added another on a second-period power play, his 15th goal of the playoffs.

MacAulay and Fournier also got into fights when things got a little chippy.

"I'm not trying to prove anything, I'm just trying to stick up for my teammate," MacAulay said of his third-period fight with Jon Alec Banville, who was called for charging on Darcy Ashley.

The fight occurred late in the game as the Drakkar's frustration level grew and they were paying close attention to Drouin and MacKinnon.

When Gabriel Verpaelst got into a tussle with MacKinnon, Fournier stormed in and, even though the Mooseheads' leading goalscorer in the playoffs got an instigator penalty, Halifax coach Dominique Ducharme approved.

"Both times I thought it was OK to react," Ducharme said of Fournier and MacAulay's reactions. "We care about each other and we stick together."

Drakkar winger Valentin Zykov broke Zachary Fucale's shutout bid at 16:37 of the second period to make it 3-1 and give his team some hope.

Just a few minutes later though, Boudreau scored a back-breaker that restored Halifax's three-goal lead with just six seconds lefts in the second.

Despite the closer score, Drakkar coach Eric Veilleux said his team didn't play as well as they did in Friday's 4-0 loss.

"We wanted to have a good start like we did in Game 1, but we didn't have the legs," Veilleux said.

Veilleux pulled goalie Philippe Cadorette with three minutes left and the move almost paid off as Carl Gelinas scored with 1:31 left and Petr Straka got another with three seconds left.

Up until that point, the Drakkar had gone almost two games with just one goal.

"I think we proved that when you put the puck on the net, good things can happen," Veilleux said.

As time wound down in the third, Halifax fans chanted "We want the Cup. We want the Cup" in what could be the team's last home game of the season. If the Mooseheads sweep their fourth straight series of the playoffs, they'll head to the Memorial Cup in Saskatoon from May 17-26.

The series heads to Baie-Comeau for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

MacAulay, who won three QMJHL titles and a Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs, expects a rowdy crowd.

"I played there last year in the second round and it was crazy," MacAulay said. "It should be a fun atmosphere to play in."

Halifax Mooseheads (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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