Manitoba Moose 2019-20
3-7-0-0 6 points (.300), 8th in Central Division, 14th Western Conference
Goals for per game: 2.70 (24th)
Goals against per game: 3.70 (26th)
Powerplay: 5-of-35, 14.3% (22nd)
Penalty kill: 31-of-42, 73.8% (29th)
Top 3 Goals:
6 - Seth Griffith
4 - Cameron Schilling
3 - Jansen Harkins, Logan Shaw, J.C. Lipon
Top 3 Assists:
8 - Harkins
5 - Griffith
3 - Andrei Chibisov, Schilling, Kristian Vesalainen
Top 3 Points:
11 - Harkins, Griffith
7 - Schilling
Mikhail Berdin - 3-5-0, .891 Sv %, 3.29 GAA, 0 shutouts
Adam Carlson - 0-2-0, .863 Sv %, 3.52 GAA, 0 shutouts
What a difference a week made for the Manitoba Moose.
Riding a six game losing streak, the Moose returned home for a pair of games against the Grand Rapids Griffins and came away with a pair of regulation victories. If you like goals, these games were up your alley as the two teams combined for 19 at Bell MTS Place.
Sami Niku returned from injury on Saturday, while Ville Heinola made his AHL debut, as the pair of young Finns formed a new-look top pairing for the Moose. More on that later.
If you were playing in a milestone game for the Moose this weekend, things also went well for you. J.C. Lipon scored a pair in his 400th career AHL game on Saturday, and Cameron Schilling scored a pair of his own in his 500th career AHL game on Sunday.
The Moose won 5-3 on Saturday afternoon, despite falling behind early on yet another power play goal. Sami Niku scored to tie things up, and the teams traded goals once more before the period was out. J.C. Lipon then became a difference maker on the power play, scoring with the extra man in both the second and third periods. The Griffins got one back to make it 4-3, before Seth Griffith closed out the scoring into an empty net. Jansen Harkins assisted on all five Moose goals on the afternoon.
Sunday’s game saw the Moose jump out to a 4-1 lead, only for Grand Rapids to tie things up before the Moose once again found the accelerator and won 7-4. Seth Griffith had a goal in each period to lead the way, while Cameron Schilling added a pair, Niku scored again and Harkins scored one of his own, to go along with two assists, giving him eight points for the weekend.
J.C. Lipon of the Moose and Givani Smith of the Rapids failed a pop-quiz of AHL rules when they were each given game misconducts for fighting immediately following a face-off, just 36 seconds into the game.
Ville Heinola had an assist on Sunday, and there was instant chemistry with Sami Niku. Take this shift for example:
I present to you a dominant shift via Heinola-Niku. pic.twitter.com/CE5ZBIet03— Jacob Stoller (@JLStoller) November 3, 2019
Sami Niku is too good for this league.
Mikhail Berdin stopped 46 of 53 shots this weekend, which isn’t great. Three of the seven goals came on the power play for Grand Rapids, as the Moose penalty kill staggers along as the third worst in the AHL.
The Moose power play, on the other hand, finally showed signs of life, scoring four times on seven chances.
Moose coach Pascal Vincent may have caught lightning in a bottle with the line of Andrei Chibisov, Jansen Harkins and Seth Griffith, as the trio erupted this weekend for a combined six goals and 10 assists, providing much needed offence.
C.J. Suess was reassigned to the Moose this morning. Suess made his NHL debut on Friday, seeing 6:26 of ice time for the Jets. He has one goal in eight games for the Moose this season.
The Moose next play Wednesday morning (gross) in Milwaukee against the Admirals before heading to Illinois this weekend to play first against the Rockford IceHogs on Friday and then the Chicago Wolves on Saturday, before returning home for four games.
Moose Lines on November 3, 2019
Kristian Vesalainen / Michael Spacek / J.C. Lipon
Andrei Chibisov / Jansen Harkins / Seth Griffith
Joona Luoto / Cole Maier / Nelson Nogier
Brent Pedersen / Nathan Todd / Skyler McKenzie
Ville Heinola / Sami Niku
Cameron Schilling / Leon Gawanke
Jimmy Oligny / Luke Green
Last Two Game Scores (Outscored Opponents 12-7)
Saturday, November 2
5 Manitoba Moose vs
3 Grand Rapids Griffins
Moose Goal: Niku (1), Lipon 2 (3), Griffith 2 (3)
Goalie: Berdin 29/32
Sunday, November 3
7 Manitoba Moose vs
4 Grand Rapids Griffins
Moose Goals: Griffith 3 (6), Schilling 2 (4), Harkins (3), Niku (2)
Goalie: Berdin 17/21