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Drouin returns in style
By Willy Palov - Sports Reporter
The Chronicle Herald
Someone else will have to try to snap the Halifax Mooseheads’ winning streak because the Drummondville Voltigeurs couldn’t do it.
The Mooseheads beat the Voltigeurs 6-2 in front of 6,634 fans at the Metro Centre on Wednesday to give them 11 straight wins. The Mooseheads improved their league-leading record to 13-1 and are now ranked No. 2 in the CHL.
“I think we’re playing well as a team and we’re listening to the coaching staff,” said Halifax winger Darcy Ashley. “They’re getting us ready for every game and it’s just been up to us to go out and execute. I think we’ve been working well, all the lines are clicking and everybody’s backchecking just as hard as they’re forechecking. That’s helping us succeed right now.”
Jonathan Drouin made a triumphant return to the Halifax line-up after missing six games with an upper body injury. The 17-year-old forward picked up right where he left off, scoring two goals and adding two assists to increase his season points total to 19 in just eight games. Drouin had all kinds of jump and was dangerous every time he touched the puck.
“It was a great comeback and I helped the team win,” said Drouin, who was the game’s first star. “If some go in, it’s fun and it helps the confidence go back up.
“They have a good working team so we knew coming into the game they would work. Even when it was 3-1 they made it 3-2 and made it a really good game. We pushed hard in the third to get those goals.”
Nathan MacKinnon continued his hot play for Halifax, scoring two goals and earning third star honours. MacKinnon now has goals in his last eight games (13 goals) and points in 10 straight (20 points).
“Me and Nate have a lot of chemistry,” Drouin said. “We had a really good game today and he buried those two chances he got and helped the team win.”
Luca Ciampini also extended his points streak to eight games (14 points) with a nice assist on a goal by Ashley. Randy Gazzola also scored for the Mooseheads and Konrad Abeltshauser had two assists.
Tomas Torok and Olivier Archambault were the Drummondville goal scorers and Louis-Philip Guindon made 27 saves. Zachary Fucale only needed to stop 16 shots for his 11th win of the year, best in the league.
“Dom (coach Ducharme) is preaching the harder we play in our own end, the more turnovers we’re going to get and then we can go play offence,” Ashley said. “I think teams may be concentrating more on playing defensively against us and that’s been a factor too in the amount of shots they’re getting.”
Halifax forward Liam Alcalde left the game with an upper body injury after taking a heavy open-ice hit in the first period. He went to the hospital for x-rays but the Mooseheads were still waiting for the results late into the night.
The Mooseheads face the Chicoutimi Sagueneens at home on Saturday.
“Chicoutimi’s a really hard-working team and then we have P.E.I. on Sunday,” Drouin said. We’ll focus on Saturday and go a period at a time.”
Foreurs 5, Oceanic 4 (OT): At Val-d'Or, Que., Anthony Mantha scored his fourth goal of the game to win it in overtime. He also had an assist to help him move into a tie for the league scoring lead with 28 points in 14 games.
Notes: Forward Max Lindsay and defencemen MacKenzie Weegar and Brendan Duke did not play for Halifax because they were sick. Goalie Anthony Terenzio was a healthy scratch. ... Drouin scored his second goal while killing a penalty, giving the Mooseheads their seventh short-handed goal of the season. Only the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies have scored more while short-handed (eight).
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