The road was kind to the Halifax Mooseheads this past week.
They secured five of a possible six points, wrapping up their three-game trip with a 3-2 win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Saturday. The Mooseheads also beat the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Wednesday and earned a point for an overtime loss to the Val-d'Or Foreurs on Friday.
"It was a very positive trip," said Halifax head coach J.J. Daigneault. "We're very pleased with the way the players played. When we started the road trip in Boisbriand, we wanted to put a premium on playing well defensively and the guys only gave up four goals in three games for the whole trip.
"There was a strong focus on winning one-on-one battles, races to loose pucks and back-checking. It takes a lot of effort playing without the puck but the guys really bought into it."
The result against the Huskies took some determination. The Mooseheads methodically built leads of 2-0 and 3-1 but then had to survive some heavy pressure in the final 10 minutes after the Huskies made it a one-goal game.
"It was kind of rope-a-dope a little bit for us because they had 20 shots to two for us in the third period," Daigneault said. "We kept our heads in the D zone and got the puck out, so we were defending really well but then maybe we forgot to attack.
"We gave them a little bit of momentum with the way we were playing the game but they're a good hockey team."
Bo Groulx, Maxim Trepanier and Justin Barron had the Mooseheads goals and Justin Bergeron and Vincent Marleau were the Huskies scorers.
Alexis Gravel and Cole McLaren combined to stop 38 shots for Halifax and Zachary Emond made 20 saves for Rouyn-Noranda. Gravel was terrific in the first two periods but was replaced by McLaren early in the third because of flu-like symptoms. McLaren was equally good in relief.
"Gravy really wanted to have that game and he made some huge saves early," Daigneault said. "He gutted it out because he wasn't feeling too good and obviously didn't finish the game. But he gave us two strong periods and then Cole came in and was really good too. He didn't give up any rebounds and made some great saves.
"It's tough to put in a guy cold like that with 18 minutes left to play in the third period but he did really well replacing Gravy."
Going 2-0-1 on the trip pushes the Mooseheads' record back above .500 to 11-10-2-0. They now return home for their next two games, starting on Thursday against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.
Jared McIsaac, Walter Flower and Cole Foston did not play for Halifax because of injuries and Said Abi-Faycal was a healthy scratch.
Eagles 5, Tigres 4: In Victoriaville, Egor Sokolov notched a hat trick for the Eagles, who built a 5-1 lead and then hung on for the win.
Nathan Larose and Shaun Miller had the other Cape Breton goals and Mikhail Abramov, with two, and Conor Frenette scored for the Tigres.