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Titan no match for Mooseheads

Cole McLaren of Lequille, Annapolis County worked his way up through the Valley Wildcats program in Berwick before earning his spot on the Halifax Mooseheads roster.
Cole McLaren led the Halifax Mooseheads to a 9-0 shutout of the Bathurst Titan at the Scotiabank Centre on Saturday. (Contributed)

It wasn't much of a contest Saturday night at the Scotiabank Centre.
The rebuilding Bathurst Titan stood little chance against the Halifax Mooseheads, a team loaded up to host the 2019 Memorial Cup. It was a one-sided game from start to finish as the Mooseheads easily won 9-0.
"The guys were buzzing tonight," said Halifax goalie Cole McLaren. "Our whole offence was just on fire. Bathurst tried their best but there's not much you can do when the guys are that hot. We have one of the best offences in probably all of major junior and it was at its best tonight."
It took the Mooseheads less than two minutes to get on the board and they kept the pressure on the rest of the way. They built period leads of 3-0 and 6-0 without ever giving the Titan a chance to catch their breath.
The line of Samuel Asselin (two goals, three assists), Marcel Barinka (two goals) and Ostap Safin (one goal, three assists) combined for 11 points . 
"That line's been really good ever since the coaches put them together," McLaren said. "I'm really happy for Marcel and Saf, they're really starting to find their place here in Halifax. It's really good for them."
Joel Bishop, with two, Antoine Morand and Bo Groulx and Joel Bishop added goals and McLaren stopped 29 shots for his second shutout of the season. Tyriq Outen and Mark Grametbauer did their best in a combined 38-save showing for Bathurst.
"I felt really good tonight," said McLaren, a rookie from Annapolis Royal. "The team kept it really easy. The best chance I had was probably my first shot of the game and then after that it was pretty easy stuff."
The game also turned into a power-play clinic for the Mooseheads at times. They converted four of their six chances and looked impressive throwing the puck around. Halifax also killed off all four Bathurst power plays, including a two-minute two-man advantage in the third period.
"Our power play has been unbelievable the past couple of games," McLaren said. "The guys are saying it's at over 40 per cent, which is just absurd. Hopefully that keeps up as the season goes on."
The Mooseheads' next game is at home on Friday against the Saint John Sea Dogs. Halifax is now 16-4-1-0 and within one point of first place overall.
"We're starting to trend upwards and it's really nice to see," McLaren said. "We have a couple of good games coming up against Charlottetown, Baie-Comeau and then Drummondville. Those should be some good games."
Notes: Samuel Dube, Kyle Petten, Cole Stewart and Denis Toner did not dress for Halifax.
 

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