Mooseheads vs. Huskies in first-round playoffs: what you need to know

Published on March 20, 2017

Taylor Ford when playing for the Mooseheads.

©Metro file

The Halifax Mooseheads will tangle with the heavily-favoured Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in a first-round QMJHL playoff matchup that has some interesting storylines to it.

Halifax, ranked 15th of the 16 post-season teams, is coached by Andre Tourigny, who spent more than a decade as head coach and general manager of the Huskies from Quebec, where he set records in 27 categories, including most regular season wins with 337.

Tourigny was an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators for two seasons before joining Halifax last May.

Then there is the Taylor Ford factor. The former Mooseheads captain and top defenceman was traded to the Huskies in early January for Rouyn-Noranda’s first round draft pick in 2018.

Rouyn-Noranda goes into the playoff as the second-seed and finished with 33 more points than Halifax . The Huskies also won both head-to-head meetings between the clubs by a combined score of 9-3.

If Halifax is to have any chance in this series, they’ll need top scorers Max Fortier and Nico Hischier to lead the way. The duo combined for 173 points this season, including 38 goals from Hischier, a potential top-5 pick in the upcoming NHL draft.

As well, rookie netminder Alex Gravel will need to steal them at least a couple of games.

The best-of-seven series opens this Friday and Saturday in Rouyn-Noranda, while Games 3, 4, and if necessary, Game 5, will be back in Halifax on March 28, 29 and 31.