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High-octane teams take a bite out of Herd playoff hopes

The Halifax Mooseheads met a predictable fate against a pair of high-powered opponents on the weekend.

The Halifax Mooseheads met a predictable fate against a pair of high-powered opponents on the weekend.

The Mooseheads didn’t get so much as a sniff against the nationally-ranked Quebec Remparts and Shawinigan Cataractes at the Metro Centre, slipping further into the QMJHL basement and five points out of a playoff spot.

Shawinigan cruised to an easy 7-3 win on Saturday, while Quebec earned a decisive 8-4 victory yesterday.

“We didn’t play that bad,” said Mooseheads forward Alexis Piette, the third star yesterday with a goal and two assists. “Teams like Shawinigan and Quebec have such talented players … Their first three lines are so skilled, they take advantage of bad turnovers and the puck ends up behind the goalie.”

The Mooseheads got behind 4-0 in the first period yesterday against the Remparts before finally striking back with 57 seconds left in the frame. They played an outstanding second period, outshooting Quebec 16-8 and narrowing the gap to 4-2 when Piette scored his 14th of the season at 15:06.

“The second period against them was one of our best periods of the year,” said Mooseheads forward Yuri Cheremetiev, who had a goal and an assist. “All four lines were going, the effort was there, we got the puck on net. That’s what we’ve gotta do.”

The turning point came in the third when the Mooseheads got an early power play but gave up a shorthanded marker to Samuel Groulx on a breakaway at 2:37 to fall behind 5-2. The Remparts added three more in the third to seal it.

With only nine games remaining, Halifax (16-37-3-3, 38 points) is in desperate need of a spark. The Mooseheads must pass at least two of Baie-Comeau (43 points), Val-d’Or (43 points) and Lewiston (42 points) to make the playoffs.

“We’ve got to find a way to steal points the rest of the season,” Piette said. “We’re playing against good teams from now on and we have to get points against them to make it.”

Maple Leafs draft pick Mikael Stefanovich led Quebec’s charge with four goals.

Mooseheads goalie Mark Yetman was pulled after allowing three goals on 10 shots, while rookie forward Gabriel Desjardins had a goal and an assist.

 
 
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