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Remparts catch Mooseheads off guard

Quebec Remparts centre Luke Kutkevicius tries to tip the puck past Halifax Mooseheads goalie Cole McLaren during the second period of Saturday night’s QMJHL game at the Scotiabank Centre. (Ryan Taplin/The Chronicle Herald)
Quebec Remparts centre Luke Kutkevicius tries to tip the puck past Halifax Mooseheads goalie Cole McLaren during the second period of Saturday night’s QMJHL game at the Scotiabank Centre. (Ryan Taplin/The Chronicle Herald)

The win wasn't automatic for the Halifax Mooseheads this time.
After breezing to two easy victories in the last week, it seemed like a lock they would roll again against the retooling Quebec Remparts on Saturday. But the Remparts put up a good fight in front of 8,116 fans, stunning the Mooseheads 4-3 in overtime at the Scotiabank Centre.
"That's a team that plays really hard, they play tight and they stick to their system," said Mooseheads captain Antoine Morand. "We made too many mistakes tonight and that cost us the game.
"Mentally we need to be stronger and we have to start playing more in playoff mode. We're too lazy a little bit and we sit back sometimes. We need to grind more and play the right way. Sometimes when we get the lead or we have a good sequence, we kind of sit on it and hope we're going to win games without working. That's what happened tonight."
The teams each scored twice in the first period and the Mooseheads had the only goal of the second to give them a 3-2 lead heading into the third. When the Remparts tied it six minutes into the final period, the Mooseheads started to scramble. They had chances to win it in overtime but it was Quebec captain Etienne Verrette who had the final say on a two-on-one with less than two minutes left to play in the extra period.
"They had two quick goals off little breakdowns in the system," said Halifax defenceman Walter Flower. "When they scored those two goals in the first, it was a big momentum switch so it was tough to battle back from that. The other team worked hard.
"They definitely had a good game. They pressured hard and it was tough to break out of our end. They were strong on pucks and they were good tonight."
Keith Getson, with his first as a Moosehead, Morand and Justin Barron scored the Halifax goals. Adam Gaudreau, Samuel Dickner and Nicolas Savoie were the other Quebec scorers. 
Rookie Cole McLaren stopped 26 shots for Halifax and Kyle Jessiman and Carmine-Anthony Pagliarulo combined to make 32 saves for Quebec.
"They're a good team," Morand said. "They beat Moncton last night and they're playing well on the road right now. But we weren't ready enough and we took them too lightly. That's what happens when you do that in this league. You have to play hard for 60 minutes or you're going to get bit in the ass. That's what happened tonight."
As much as it aggravated the Mooseheads (27-8-2-1) to lose to a team that trails them by 15 points in the standings, they also concede there are silver linings. They get a point for the overtime loss and they also know they will benefit from the mini wake-up call.
"It's better that it happened now than in the playoffs," Morand said. "We're going to learn from it and we're going to start by realizing that there are still things we don't do right and we have to fix them. In the long run we won't let those things cost us any more."
The Mooseheads play their next game on the road on Tuesday against the Bathurst Titan.
"I don't think we played our best tonight so we'll watch some video on this game and regroup," Flower said. "We'll be back on track for Tuesday.
Islanders 3, Screaming Eagles 1: In Charlottetown, Kevin Gursoy snapped a 1-1 third-period tie and goalie Matthew Welsh stopped 37 shots in the Islanders net.
Jordan Maher and Lukas Cormier also scored for Charlottetown and Brooklyn Kalmikov had the Cape Breton goal. William Grimard made 17 saves for the Screaming Eagles.
Notes: Marcel Barinka, Ostap Safin, Jocktan Chainey, Brock McLeod and Kyle Petten did not dress for Halifax. 
 

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