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Herd fights for victory

Fighting may soon be a thing of the past in the QMJHL, but the Halifax Mooseheads aren’t ready to wave goodbye to it just yet.

Fighting may soon be a thing of the past in the QMJHL, but the Halifax Mooseheads aren’t ready to wave goodbye to it just yet.

The Mooseheads used a couple of rare scraps to gather momentum and beat the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 3-1 at the Metro Centre on Friday, just the second time they've posted back-to-back wins all season.

With the game tied 1-1, Gabriel O’Connor and Justin Pender scored convincing decisions in separate fights, and their energized teammates responded with two goals in the final five minutes.

“Gab sparked us beating that guy (Alexandre Beauregard) up, and Pender did it again at the end (against Alex Emond), and it was huge,” said third star Gerrad Grant, who had a goal and an assist. “The momentum changed right there. It was good leadership by both of them.”

Grant, who was a game-day decision with the flu, was a force throughout the night on his usual line with Charles Bety (one goal, one assist) and Travis Randell (two assists). Although the line isn’t always known for its offensive contributions, Grant set up Bety for Halifax’s first goal and iced it with an insurance marker with 27 seconds to go.

Yuri Cheremetiev had the winner with 4:39 remaining and veteran goalie Mark Yetman was the first star with 35 saves.

“The guys played well and Yetman backed us up when we needed him,” said Grant, a former Dartmouth Subways star who has eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in 48 games as a rookie.

The win was key in the last-place Mooseheads' quest for the playoff spot, as they were four points behind Lewiston and Val-d'Or for the final berthgoing into Friday's contest.

“We wanted to send a message to the league that we’re not going to roll over and die,” said Yetman, who has started eight of the past nine games. “We’re digging our heels in and going for a playoff spot.”

Halifax hosts Logan MacMillan and the Rimouski Oceanic on Saturday at 7 p.m. It’s a chance for the Herd’s first three-game winning streak of the season. MacMillan, traded from Halifax to Rimouski in December, will be a game-day decision with a Charley horse.

 
 
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