Alexandre Doucet has been in this situation before.
The Halifax Mooseheads left-winger was with the Val-d'Or Foreurs during the 2020-21 season. He knows what it is to chase a league title.
The Foreurs were eliminated by Victoriaville in Game 6 of the final.
Almost two years later, Doucet, 21, is one of the veterans the Mooseheads have brought in for a title run. He was acquired in December.
As much as he's with the Mooseheads for his offence — he was second in league scoring as of Friday, trailing only teammate Jordan Dumais — he's with the team to mentor younger players.
"It's not the point to play for the name behind the jersey, it's to play for the logo … to sacrifice to win those games," he said.
As of late, there's been a lot of winning.
With a 2-1 shootout win Thursday over the league-leading Quebec Remparts, the team extended its unbeaten streak in regulation time to 14 games.
This was the first time the Mooseheads played the Remparts this season. Mooseheads head coach Sylvain Favreau said it was like a chess match.
"They were feeling us out, we were feeling them out and didn't want to give up much," he said.
Favreau said he believes the game showed the Mooseheads are a legitimate contender, whose 26-7-4-1 record isn't fuelled simply by playing in the Maritimes Division.
There is a perception the Mooseheads have benefited from playing in a weak division. It's a perception that was reinforced when some teams traded away key players to help in rebuilding.
"But up until Christmas it was still a competitive division and no games are easy," said Favreau.
"We proved that we can play with the best of them and for us it will launch us into playoff preparation. That was as close as you're going to get to a playoff game."
Favreau is happy with how the Mooseheads are playing, but said they need to become more consistent about their defensive play. He said the Mooseheads have taken some perceived weaker teams "a little bit lightly."
He said the solution is to continue to draw attention to it and work on it in practice and video reviews. But he said it's also veterans like Doucet who help set the standard for the younger players.
"They bring experience and they know what it takes to get to the next level," he said.
Having come up short in the league finals almost two years ago, Doucet said he's motivated by that experience to get a title.
With Thursday's win, he's confident the team is heading in the right direction.
"We just showed that we can beat everybody in that league if we work hard," said Doucet.
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