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Drakkar prevail 2-1 in edgy contest with Mooseheads

Baie-Comeau Drakkar’s Nathan Legare tastes some rubber from a deflected shot in front of Halifax Mooseheads centre Antoine Morand during QMJHL action at the Scotiabank Centre on Satruday. (TIM KROCHAK/STAFF)
Baie-Comeau Drakkar’s Nathan Legare tastes some rubber from a deflected shot in front of Halifax Mooseheads centre Antoine Morand during QMJHL action at the Scotiabank Centre on Satruday. (TIM KROCHAK/STAFF)

It was a grind Saturday night at the Scotiabank Centre.
Two of the QMJHL's top teams went at each other hard in front of 8,630 fans, with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar coming out on top 2-1 over the Halifax Mooseheads.
"It was just like a playoff game," said Halifax winger Arnaud Durandeau. "They're a hard team and we were going at each other all night. There were a lot of scrums after the whistle and stuff like that. We just tried to stay out of that and play our game.
"It was close the whole time and they just buried one more goal than us."
Halifax came into the game without a regulation loss in its past six games, while Baie-Comeau was on a two-game losing streak. Still, the Drakkar held a one-point lead over the Mooseheads in the overall standings and showed early on they did not want to surrender it.
The visitors chased the puck aggressively right from the opening face-off and forced the Mooseheads to match their pace. Once the teams settled into that tempo, the play was back and forth with a healty edge the rest of the way.
"They lost in Cape Breton in overtime (on Friday) so I think they really wanted to win here tonight," said Halifax goalie Alexis Gravel. 
"I think we had a good start and then Baie-Comeau took it over just a little bit in the second. But we had great energy going into the third and it's unfortunate they kept us from scoring."
The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period and the Drakkar pulled ahead 2-1 in the second. The Mooseheads pushed hard in the third period for the equalizer, outshooting the Drakkar 13-5, but couldn't pull it off.
"No matter what goalie's in there, sometimes it just doesn't go in," Durandeau said. "We were shooting and we were getting rebounds but we couldn't get one more to go in. It just wasn't our night that way but I thought we played a good game."
Ivan Chekhovich scored both Baie-Comeau goals, including one while killing a penalty, and Durandeau was Halifax's scorer.
Gravel stopped 23 shots for Halifax and Kyle Jessiman made 33 saves for Baie-Comeau to earn the game's second star.
"I think the goaltending was good on both sides," Gravel said. "Kyle played really well. He stood on his head and Baie-Comeau played really well defensively. We pushed hard in the third and tried to bounce back but the puck went their way so that's unfortunate."
The result moves Baie-Comeau to 18-6-1-1 and Halifax slips to 17-5-1-0. 
The Mooseheads host the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Sunday afternoon. It will be another stiff test from a top tier team.
"Teams we've played recently like Charlottetown and Baie-Comeau work hard and that's what we want to do too," Durandeau said. "When two teams are working hard against each other, it always gets a little chippy but that's just how it goes. It's a good league and there are a lot of good teams that we want to play our best against.
"We'll just forget about this game and get some rest tonight. We'll be ready for them tomorrow.
Notes: Samuel Dube, Denis Toner, Brock McLeod and Cole Stewart did not play for Halifax. ... Winger Kyle Petten appeared in his first game of the season for the Mooseheads. ... The Anaheim Ducks reassigned forward Maxime Comtois to the Voltigeurs on Saturday but there is no word yet on whether he will be in Halifax for Sunday's game.

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