It should be a peaceful holiday break for the Halifax Mooseheads.
They wrapped up the first half of their season with a tidy 6-2 win over the Charlottetown Islanders at the Scotiabank Centre on Saturday, kicking off their 12-day vacation on a high.
"It's always nice to get a win right before the holidays," said Halifax winger Jordan Maher. "It'll be nice now to go home and spend some time with family, unwind a little and let the body recover.
"It's a long break for us so you want to take advantage of that and be smart while we're home and be ready for the second half when we come back."
After Arnaud Durandeau scored the only goal of the first period, the Mooseheads unloaded with four more in the second, including three in less than three minutes. With a healthy 5-0 cushion heading into the third period, there wasn't much left to do to secure the win.
"We wanted to have a good start because we didn't do that yesterday against Moncton," said Halifax winger Xavier Parent. "We did that and we kept playing well.
"It was important for us to keep playing hard in the second period and we did that and we scored four goals. We didn't score a lot in our last two games and tonight we had six goals so we proved we can play well offensively."
Maher scored two goals and Samuel Asselin, Jake Ryczek and Walter Flower added one each. Raphael Lavoie finished with two assists. Daniel Hardie and Keith Getson scored for the Islanders.
Alexis Gravel turned aside 30 shots for Halifax and Matthew Welsh made 33 saves for Charlottetown.
"For three or four games (Alexis) has been playing really well," Parent said. "I think he won the game for us yesterday. It's too bad they scored two goals late like that because he could have had two shutouts (in a row) but he played really well again tonight."
The win sends the Mooseheads into the break without a regulation loss in their past eight games. They are 7-0-0-1 during that streak and are playing their best hockey of the season.
"We switched the lines up a little bit and the chemistry might've been there a little more than it was the last few games," Maher said. "We just rolled with it and ended up working for us.
"I think we're confident with anyone we put on the ice in most situations. It's looking good for the second half and we're excited to get it going again."
The two points also give the Mooseheads (24-7-1-1) sole possession of third place overall. They trail the second-place Drummondville Voltigeurs by one point and the first-overall Rouyn-Noranda Huskies by seven. Charlottetown falls to 20-10-2-1.
"I think we played really well against Cape Breton on Wednesday (shootout loss) but after that we knew we had two big games to finish and we wanted to play well," Parent said. "We did that and now we're really happy with how we finished."
The Mooseheads' first game after the break is on the road against the Islanders on Dec. 28.
"We're first in the division now and it's tough in a way to be taking a break right now," Maher said. "But we'll get back, have a few practices and I'm sure the boys will have their legs and be ready to go."
Screaming Eagles 3, Sea Dogs 2: In Saint John, Mitchell Balmas had a goal and an assist to stretch Cape Breton's winning streak to three games.
Ian Smallwood and Brooklyn Kalmikov also scored for the Screaming Eagles and Filip Prikryl and Jeremie Poirier were the Sea Dogs scorers.
William Grimard made 17 saves for Cape Breton and Alex D'Orio stopped 32 shots for Saint John.
Notes: Mooseheads defenceman Jared McIsaac earned his spot on the Canadian world junior team after Friday's exhibition game in Victoria, B.C. ... Samuel Dube, Cole Stewart and Ostap Safin did not play because of injuries. ... Halifax centre Bo Groulx left the game in the first period with an upper body injury and did not return.