The Halifax Mooseheads finished the regular season 73 points ahead of the Saint John Sea Dogs and they showed why in Game 1 of their first-round matchup.
Halifax scored eight times in the second period alone en route to crushing visiting Saint John 11-1 on Friday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff action.
Martin Frk scored five times and had three assists for the Mooseheads, who outshot their opponent 48-8 through 40 minutes of domination, while Jonathan Drouin had six assists.
Both players set new career-highs for points in a single playoff game. Frk's previous best was a three-point outing in 2012 against the Moncton Wildcats while Drouin recorded four points in the same playoff season against the Quebec Remparts.
Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and two assists for Halifax, which entered the post season as the Canadian Hockey League's Number-1 ranked club, and Stefan Fournier scored once and set up two more. Dominic Beauchemin and Stephen MacAulay each had a goal to round out the Mooseheads' offence.
MacKinnon's four-point performance was also a new playoff career-best as he recorded three points five times last season.
Jason Cameron scored the lone goal for the Sea Dogs, who last season were the QMJHL's top club, winning the President Cup with a 16-1-0 record in the post season.
Halifax's Zachary Fucale made 18 saves for the win as Saint John's Sebastien Auger allowed seven goals on 38 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period. Alex Fournier replaced Auger and stopped 17-of-21 shots in 29 minutes of relief.
The Mooseheads, who had the league's second-best power play in the regular season, went 4 for 10 with the man advantage, while the Sea Dogs went 0 for 5.
Halifax also dominated the season series with Saint John, going 6-0-1 and outscoring them 35-13 in the process.
Game 2 is scheduled for March 23 at the Halifax Metro Centre.
Elsewhere in the QMJHL, it was: Victoriaville 3, Moncton 0; P.E.I. 3, Val-d'Or 2 (OT); Chicoutimi 6, Quebec 3; Baie-Comeau 6, Sherbrooke 2; Blainville-Boisbriand 5 Acadie-Bathurst 4; Rimouski 3, Gatineau 2 and Rouyn-Noranda 4, Drummondville 2.
At Halifax, MacKinnon scored back-to-back goals early in the first period to put the Mooseheads up 2-0.
Saint John was fortunate to keep the game close, being outshot 24-4 in the opening 20 minutes, and Cameron brought some hope to his club with a goal at 12:48.
The Mooseheads, however, didn't hesitate to keep bringing their offence and scored nine unanswered goals.
MacAulay opened the second-period scoring 1:35 in and Frk made it 4-1 only 43 second later.
Frk added two more goals before the 11-minute mark and Andrews tacked on Halifax's seventh goal at 11:10, which led to end of the night for Auger.
Fournier, Frk and Beauchemin all scored in a span of 4:01 to make it 10-1 for the Mooseheads heading into the third period.
Frk completed his five-goal night at 8:12 of the third.
Tigres 3 Wildcats 0
At Moncton, N.B., Brandon Whitney made 37 saves for his first-career playoff shutout and Angelo Miceli scored twice as Victoriaville blanked the Wildcats to take a 1-0 series lead.
Rocket 3 Foreurs 2 (OT)
At Charlottetown, Josh Currie scored 42 seconds into overtime and Antoine Bibeau turned away 33-of-35 shots for his first-career QMJHL playoff win as P.E.I. edged Val-d'Or to open its series with a victory.
Sagueneens 6 Remparts 3
At Quebec City, Simon Tremblay and Guillaume Asselin each scored twice and Sebastien Sylvestre had four assists as Chicoutimi doubled up the higher-seeded Remparts in Game 1 of their first-round matchup.
Drakkar 6 Phoenix 2
At Baie-Comeau, Que., the Drakkar's top line of Carl Gelinas, Raphael Bussieres and Maxim Lamarche combined for four goals and nine points in a Game 1 victory against Sherbrooke.
Armada 5 Titan 4
At Boisbriand, Que., Philippe Sanche scored three times, including the winner, and Xavier Ouellet had a goal and an assist as the Armada now hold a 2-0 series lead over Acadie-Bathurst.
Oceanic 3 Olympiques 2
At Rimouski, Que., Anthony DeLuca's first-career playoff goal at 4:23 of the third stood up as the winner and Alexandre Lavoie had a goal and an assist as the Oceanic edged Gatineau in Game 1 action.
Huskies 4 Voltigeurs 2
At Rouyn-Noranda, Que., Sven Andrighetto scored the winner and set up two others as the Huskies scored three straight goals in the third period to come from behind and beat Drummondville for a 1-0 series advantage.