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Farm Report: Going Wild In Iowa

This past weekend, the Manitoba Moose split a pair of games with the Iowa Wild, with a pair of star players up with the big club.

NHL: Preseason-Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild
So here’s to you, Buddy Robinson
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Manitoba Moose: 3-3-0-0
Stat Leaders:
Goals: Kyle Connor*, Brendan Lemieux*, Michael Sgarbossa, Jack Roslovic (3)
Assists: Sami Niku (6)
Points: Sgarbossa (7)

Goalie Stat Leaders:
Wins: Michael Hutchinson (2)
Goals Against Average: Hutchinson (2.70)
Save Percentage: Hutchinson (.918)
Minutes: Hutchinson (177:40)

Special Teams: PP 16.1% (16th), PK 80.8% (21st)

The Manitoba Moose appear to have established a trend through six games of the season: through each of their three pairs of games, they have lost the first and won the second. At this rate the team will go 38-38-0which would be both ridiculous and not good enough to make the playoffs. That won’t happen, but they’re 7.89% of the way there.

The Moose played a pair of games against the Iowa Wild on the road in Des Moines. Game one of the two game visit occurred on Friday at the same time the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild were tangling. Out of the lineup for Manitoba were Kyle Connor and Brendan Lemieux, who were filling holes left by injury. In the case of Kyle Connor, who has found himself a home on the Jets’ top line, I don’t expect him back with the farm team any time soon.

The Moose struck first just before the first period expired, as a streaking Mason Appleton found Jack Roslovic in front and the puck went in. I’m not sure if he shot it or if it just deflected off him, but they all count. It was Appleton’s first pro assist, as the Winnipeg Jets 6th round pick in 2016 picked up his first Get it? Apple? Because his name is....nevermind.

The WIld bounced back with a pair of goals to grab the lead in the second period. Evan Janssen sniped one over the glove of Eric Comrie, then a one-timer on a Iowa power-play made it 2-1. Mike Sgarbossa tied it up before the second period ended, with a shot from the point that Wild goalie Niklas Svedberg never saw.

A poor defensive play by Sgarbossa lead to the game winner by Colton Beck, as the Moose forward chipped the puck out from behind his own net to just in front of Eric Comrie. Beck punced on it and before Comrie could get a read it was in the back of the net, with the Wild hanging on to win 3-2. Eric Comrie saved 27 of 30 in the loss.

Now for the good part.

With Michael Hutchinson between the pipes this time, the two teams met again on Saturday evening. Less than a minute into this one, Buddy Robinson, who has one of the best names out there, deflected in a point shot from Peter Stoykewych to grab an early lead for the Moose. A short time later, the Wild responded. Kyle Rau caused a turnover in the Wild zone and skated the length of the ice and beat Hutchinson with a shot to tie things up.

In the second, with the Moose on the power play, Appleton got his first pro goal, deflecting a hard pass from Sgarbossa past the Wild netminder. The Moose grabbed the lead when JC Lipn elected to keep the puck on a two-on-one rush and wired a shot high stick side.

The Wild cut into the Moose lead when Colton Beck was left alone in the slot on an Iowa power play, and beat Hutchinson to make it 3-2. The Moose iced things with an empty netter from Lipon and that as that.

The Moose play a matinee game this morning as they visit their old rivals from their IHL days, the Chicago Wolves. Chicago sits at 2-2-1 on the year, and are the farm team of the Vegas Golden Knights. They are lead by Teemu Pulkkinen, who leads the AHL with 11 points in 5 games. Shea Theodore is also dominating in a league he is too good for, with 9 points of his own, as the blue-liner is a victim of his waiver status.

The Moose will host the Belleville Senators this weekend on Friday and Saturday. The Senators are, shockingly, the farm team of the Ottawa Senators and are playing their first season in Ontario since moving from Binghamton. The Moose will have to deal with Thomas Chabot, who was the MVP of the 2017 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.