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Match this: Mooseheads stymie Eagles

Brad Marchand had heard
enough about the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles’ tireless work ethic, so the
Halifax Mooseheads forward decided to do something about it.

A fired-up Marchand set the
tempo for the Mooseheads with a spirited one-goal, two-assist showing in a 4-2
win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles as the QMJHL’s best-of-seven
quarter-finals opened on Friday night at the Metro Centre.

The 19-year-old was all over
the ice, and turned the tide with 7.2 seconds left in the second period with a
bullet shot off the wing to tie the game 2-2 heading into the third.

“They were saying all this
stuff in (Metro Halifax) about how they were going to come down and work like a
bunch of animals,” said the two-time world junior gold-medallist.

“But if they’re going to win,
they’re going to have to match us. They’re going to have to match our skill,
match our work ethic. And that’s going to be very tough for them to do.”

It wasn’t exactly a
wire-to-wire effort for the Mooseheads, as their second period left something
to be desired, but Marchand’s goal set the stage for an impressive third
period.

Jakub Voracek scored the
game-winner with a point shot on the power play just 4:53 into the third, and
Peter-James Corsi added an insurance goal with 2:22 on the clock.

“Every article in both newspapers all week was like, ‘Their work ethic, their work ethic,’” Mooseheads forward Logan MacMillan said. “As a team, we feel we work very hard as well. We wanted
to show that right off the bat and we did. It’s good to have that cemented into
our game early in the series.”

Marchand picked up right
where he left off in last year’s playoffs against the Eagles. As a member of
the Val-d’Or Foreurs, he scored seven goals and five assists for 12 points to
knock the Eagles out in a classic seven-game semifinal.

He said that was in the back
of his mind last night. His teammates picked up on it from the opening puck
drop.

“He was intense and everyone
followed,” MacMillan said. “It’s exciting to watch a player like that kill a
team on his own. He put that dagger in them and we just took off from there.”

The Eagles almost tied it
moments before Corsi’s insurance goal when Sydney’s Joey Haddad rang one off the
cross-bar. But that was the best of their third-period chances.

Marchand said the Eagles
“panicked” and “got “back on their heels” in the third, and his opponents
echoed that assessment after what they felt was a disappointing period.

“Marchand’s goal was the
turning point, and after that we didn’t come out with our best effort and they
took over,” Screaming Eagles captain Dean Ouellet said. “It wasn’t our best
effort but we sent a message that we’re here to play.”

Game 2 goes Saturday at 7
p.m. at the Metro Centre, before the series heads to Sydney for Games 3 and 4.

MacMillan said the Mooseheads
will look to work on their discipline, but otherwise, won’t change much.

“The work ethic was there,
the boys were into it, and we just want to pick up where we left off,”
MacMillan said.

Ryan Hillier also scored for Halifax, while goalie Mark
Yetman kicked out 35 shots. Ouellet and Haddad scored for Cape Breton and
rookie goalie Olivier Roy made 25 saves.

matthew.wuest@metronews.ca

 
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