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Asselin leads Moose win over Phoenix

Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Jared McIsaac tries to score on Sherbrooke Phoenix goalie Dakota Lund-Cornish during Friday's QMJHL game at the Scotiabank Centre. (Ryan Taplin/Staff)
Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Jared McIsaac tries to score on Sherbrooke Phoenix goalie Dakota Lund-Cornish during Friday's QMJHL game at the Scotiabank Centre. (Ryan Taplin/Staff)

It was Samuel Asselin's turn to power the Halifax Mooseheads to a win on Friday.

One night after linemate Antoine Morand's five points helped produce a 7-5 result against the Victoriaville Tigres, Asselin matched him in an 8-2 victory over the Sherbrooke Phoenix at the Scotiabank Centre.

"For sure five points is fun," said Asselin. "But more than that, it was more fun watching the good things from our whole team. And our line is going really well right now. So if that's something we can all build on in preparation for the playoffs, that would be nice."

Like Morand, Asselin had a hat trick and two assists to highlight another productive night for the line. Raphael Lavoie added a goal and four assists and Morand had a pair of assists to give the unit 12 points. The trio put up 11 points in the win over the Tigres the night beore.

"We have great chemistry right now," said Asselin, who leads the QMJHL with 39 goals. "We just try to keep building on that. Tonight was another good one for us."

Keith Getson, Justin Barron, Arnaud Durandeau and Xavier Parent also scored for the Mooseheads and Samuel Poulin and Michael Kemp had the Phoenix goals.

Cole McLaren made 20 saves for Halifax and Dakota Lund-Cornish and Tommy Monette combined to stop 37 shots for Sherbrooke.

The mood has turned around after a frustrating 2-1 loss to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Sunday. 

"We put everything on the table with each other this week so the past two games were huge for us," Asselin said. "It wasn't a team problem or anything, it's just we weren't working well. We were trying things that a top team shouldn't try. When you've got a lot of talent like we do, you still have to make sure you keep things simple, too. If you do that, the puck's going to roll for you. That's what we're trying to work on and we got the results we wanted the past two games."

From a team perspective, the win was the Mooseheads' most complete showing in weeks. They've been grinding through a bit of a lull lately but are showing signs of playing their way out of it.

"That's what we met about with coach (Eric) Veilleux," Asselin said. "We have to be ready for playoffs and we have to start our preparation for that. It's a process and we need to be playing good all the time."

The win is the Mooseheads' second in a row and pushes their record to 35-11-2-1. The Phoenix fall to 27-20-1-1. 

Believe it or not, there is only a month-and-a-half left in the regular season so there is pressure building on everyone to get on a roll leading up to the playoffs.

"We're six weeks away and we have to keep working towards that," Asselin said. "That is what I've learned from other years. You have to keep getting better and better and better at the end of the year so you're ready."

The Mooseheads' next game is on the road on Saturday against the Moncton Wildcats.

"We feel good," Asselin said. "Three (games) in three (days) is always tough but we already have two good wins and this is the last push of the week. We'll get a good rest after tomorrow so we will go there with nothing to lose and just play as hard as we can."

Notes: Marcel Barinka, Ostap Safin, Jocktan Chainey, Jake Ryczek and Maxim Trepanier did not dress for Halifax. ... The Mooseheads went two-for-six on the power play. ... There were 8,406 fans at the game.

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