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Quick strikes propel Moose to home win

Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Justin Barron gets his stick up on Val-d'Or Foreurs forward Julien Tessier during Saturday's QMJHL game at the Scotiabank Centre. (TIM KROCHAK/CHRONICLE HERALD)
Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Justin Barron gets his stick up on Val-d'Or Foreurs forward Julien Tessier during Saturday's QMJHL game at the Scotiabank Centre. (TIM KROCHAK/CHRONICLE HERALD)

Patience and a few scoring outbursts were enough to give the Halifax Mooseheads their first win of the season on home ice.
The Mooseheads (13-4-0-0) had to bide their time against the persistent Val-d'Or Foreurs (5-11-2-1) and then struck quickly offensively when opportunities presented themselves on their way to a 6-2 victory at the Scotiabank Centre on Saturday.
"It was a tough game," said Halifax forward Ostap Safin. "They were working hard and we had to make sure we didn't get frustrated.
"We had to listen to our coach and stay with our system but also work hard. We didn't score in the first period so we tried to capitalize when we got chances after that. We scored four goals in the third period so it was good."
The Mooseheads' first two goals came one minute apart in the second period, their next two were in a span that lasted less than two minutes in the third and the last pair went in 67 seconds apart late in the game. 
"They came in bunches and we won't complain," said Mooseheads defenceman Walter Flower. "We had our chances and we were patient. It paid off in the end. We stuck with the system and we got our goals and the win."
The Foreurs took the first lead on a power-play goal from Julien Tessier late in the first period. The Mooseheads swung the game in their favour with quick goals from Flower and Jordan Maher early in the second. 
Bathurst's Ivan Kozlov squared it at 2-2 just before the second intermission on a goal that came seconds after Flower took a stick in the face that likely should have been a penalty and stopped the play.
"There was a puck in the air and I was kind of looking for it," said Flower, who had a deep cut under his right eye. "I finally saw it in the corner and I turned away and I got a stick right in the face. It kind of shocked me and there was a bad bounce and they got it and they scored. It was an unfortunate situation."
Samuel Asselin put the Mooseheads back in front with a power-play goal early in the third and Flower added his second of the night 1:59 later. That made it 4-2 and all that was left was to lock down defensively for the remaining 17 minutes. Bo Groulx added back-to-back power-play goals late in the game for good measure.
"It was a matter of time," said Flower, who joked that he probably hasn't scored twice in one game since atom. "We were dominating them and it was about time we got our bounces."
Alexis Gravel stopped 21 shots for Halifax and Mathieu Marquis made 35 saves for Val-d'Or.
The game was Safin's first for the Mooseheads since Sept. 30 and first in Halifax since being acquired from the Saint John Sea Dogs. He missed 12 games because of a hip injury. He set up Asselin's third-period goal and drew another assist on Flower's second score.
"For sure it was a special moment to play for the Halifax crowd because now I am with the Mooseheads and not against them," Safin said. "Last year when I was against Halifax it was still a really good crowd and I always enjoyed it. It was great tonight."
There will be a quick turnaround for the Mooseheads. They welcome the Moncton Wildcats to the Scotiabank Centre for a 2 p.m. game on Sunday. The Wildcats lead the Mooseheads by two points in the overall standings and haven't lost in regulation time in 13 games.
"We'll move on from tonight and we've got another big one tomorrow," Flower said.
Samuel Dube, Kyle Petten, Brock McLeod and Jocktan Chainey did not play for Halifax. Winger Cole Stewart also left the game early in the first period favouring his arm.
Titan 3, Screaming Eagles 2: In Sydney, Mark Grametbauer made 53 saves in the Bathurst net and Logan Chisholm snapped a 2-2 tie with 3:22 left in the third period.
Daniil Verity and Marc-Andre Lecouffe had the other Titan goals and Ian Smallwood and Isiah Campbell scored for Cape Breton. William Grimard stopped nine shots.
 

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