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Farm Report: Early season returns from the AHL

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Four games into the AHL season, we check in to see how the Baby Jets are doing.

2013 NHL Draft - Portraits

Manitoba Moose: 2-2-0-0
Stat Leaders:
Goals: Kyle Connor, Brendan Lemieux (3)
Assists: Sami Niku (4)
Points: Connor, Lemieux, Jack Roslovic (5)

Goalie Stat Leaders:
Wins: Eric Comrie, Michael Hutchinson (1)
Goals Against Average: Comrie (3.03)
Save Percentage: Hutchinson (.915)
Minutes: Comrie (119)

Four games into the AHL season, the Manitoba Moose sit with a record of 2-2-0-0.

The Moose opened their season on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins, dropping the opener 5-2 on the 6th before rebounding nicely with a 7-2 win the next day.

Eric Comrie got the nod for opening day, and gave up five goals on just 22 shots in the loss, with Cameron Maclise and Peter Stoykewych, who Atlanta drafted in the 7th round in 2010, picking up the goals.

The next day saw Michael Hutchinson between the pipes and a surge in offence. The Moose were buoyed by pairs of goals from Kyle Connor and Michael Sgarbossa, while Jack Roslovic, Brendan Lemieux and Buddy Robinson rounded out the scoring. Connor, Roslovic, Lemieux and Sgarbossa all had three points on the night, while Hutchinson stopped 36 of 38 shots faced for his first AHL win since leading St. John’s to the 2014 Calder Cup final. This past weekend saw the Moose visited by the Cleveland Monsters on the 13th and 15th. The home opener saw the Monsters edge the Moose by a 4-3 score. Hutchinson was in net again, and allowed four goals on 33 shots. Jack Roslovic scored his second of the year, while Julian Melchiori and Patrice Cormier notched their first goals of the season.

On Sunday, Cleveland did what one of the more famous Cleveland sports teams likes to do on Sundays: they lost. The Moose took this one by a 4-1 score. Eric Comrie bounced back from a poor showing in the season opener, stopping 28 of 29 shots he faced. Lemieux scored a pair to give himself a trio of goals on the year, while Kyle Connor scored as well to give himself three on the season as well. Winnipeg’s second-round pick in 2015, Jansen Harkins, scored in his season debut.

On Monday, the Winnipeg Jets called up Kyle Connor to fill the void left by Mathieu Perreault’s trip to the injured reserve (IR). The Jets called up Brendan Lemieux on Tuesday, as Adam Lowry joined Perreault on the shelf. Connor will play on the second line with Bryan Little and Patrik Laine for tonight’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, while it’s not certain whether or not Lemieux fill slide into the lineup.

Team captain Patrice Cormier picked up four separate minor penalties in this one, but the Moose penalty kill stood tall, denying all five power-play chances Cleveland had on the night. Through four games, the Moose penalty kill sits 19th in the league at 80% efficiency, having killed 12 of 15 chances. The power play has converted four of 22 opportunities, which puts them 16th in the league at 18.2%.

The Moose next play against the 1-3-0 Iowa Wild in Des Moines on the 20th and 21st. The WIld will have 2016 15th overall pick Luke Kunin with them. Kunin played his first NHL game with the Minnesota Wild earlier this year, and is a former teammate of Roslovic, as the two played on the U.S.A. U-18 and U-17 squads together.