For the fifth time in franchise history, the Halifax Mooseheads have reached the QMJHL Finals.
Josh Lawrence scored the only goal in the sixth game played yesterday in Sherbrooke, Que. Halifax defeated the Phoenix 1-0 to win their best of seven semifinal series four games to two.
“I’m very proud of the boys, it was a resilient performance and a great show of character from our group,” said Sylvain Favreau, Mooseheads head coach. “I thought maybe we showed them a little too much respect at the start of the series but obviously we’re pretty proud of the result we had on Sunday.”
Halifax lost the first two games of the series on home ice and many people had written them off as they prepared to play games three and four away without their top scorer. Jordan Dumais was kicked out of the series when he injured himself in the second game.
But Halifax won both games and then finished off Sherbrooke by beating her in games five and six.
Mooseheads goaltender Matthis Rousseau has had an incredible winning streak for Halifax, making 68 saves in consecutive shutouts to end the streak.
“We definitely had some adversity early in the series and after the first game we really weren’t happy with our game,” said Lawrence, a midseason trade pickup who had 50 goals and 100 points in the regular season -Brand has 20 points in 15 playoff games. “It’s great to make it to the final but we’re still not satisfied because we still need to win four games to clinch the league.”
Halifax grew stronger as the series progressed, beating Sherbrooke 16-4 in the final four games of the series.
They now face Quebec Remparts in the league final.
Quebec and Halifax finished the regular season 1-2. The series begins with games one and two in Quebec City on Friday night and Saturday night. The Remparts, coached by Hockey Hall of Famer Patrick Roy, have made their way to 12 straight wins in the playoffs. They will have nine days off until the start of the series.
“They have a lot of talent and a really good goalkeeper, but we will use our experience from the last series and I’m sure it will be a tough fight,” said Favreau.
Zachary L’Heureux stepped up his game in the playoffs for Halifax. The first-round draft pick from Nashville has 18 points.
Dumais’ status for the league finals remains up in the air, but five days off between the semis and the final could give him enough time to recover for the first game.
The team received a major emotional boost in the middle of the Sherbrooke series when striker Braeden MacPhee rejoined the club for the fourth game after taking time off from the team following the death of his mother.
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