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Farm Report: Must Win Games

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A pair of games against the Texas Stars could decide the season this week.

Manitoba Moose defender Logan Stanley tosses a puck to young fans during the pre-game warmup of the Manitoba Moose game versus the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, MB.
Jonathan Kozub/Manitoba Moose

Manitoba Moose 2018-19
29-26-3-2 63 points (.525), 5th in Central Division, 10th Western Conference
Goals for per game: 2.52 (30th)
Goals against per game: 2.97 (12th)
Powerplay: 34-of-231, 14.7% (30th)
Penalty kill: 201-of-248, 81.0% (16th)

Top 3 Goals:
23 - Logan Shaw
12 - Jansen Harkins
12 - Seth Griffith

Top 3 Assists:
32 - Seth Griffith
26 - Michael Spacek
17 - Shaw
17 - Cameron Schilling

Top 3 Points:
44 - Griffith
40 - Shaw
35 - Spacek

Goalies
Eric Comrie - 21-15-4, .919 Sv %, 2.68 GAA, 2 shutouts
Mikhail Berdin - 7-5-1, .933 Sv %, 2.23 GAA, 1 shutout

After a pair of wins against the Rockford IceHogs over the weekend, the playoff picture for the Manitoba Moose is shining a little bit brighter right now. You know what also shines brightly? Stars. In this case, I’m referring to the Texas Stars, whom the Moose will play in a pair of games this week that will have massive implications on their chances of making the playoffs, with the Stars currently sitting in the fourth and final playoff spot in the AHL’s Central Division.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, the Moose played a pair of game against Rockford, who are also knee deep in playoff contention. The first game of the weekend saw the return of Eric Comrie, who the Jets were nice enough to send back down after being called up due to an ill Connor Hellebuyck. Comrie was his typical terrific self, stopping 33 of 34 shots en route to a 3-1 win. The team benefitted from depth scoring in this one, with Alexis D’Aoust, Ryan White and Felix Girard getting the goals for Manitoba, as the third and fourth lines chipped in.

The Sunday afternoon game between the two teams was a very tightly fought contest, with Mikhail berdin in net for the Moose. The Moose had a number of chances throughout, but found themselves trailing 1-0 after a Peter Holland goal during the second period. Their second-worst-in-the-AHL power play actually produced on their fifth and final chance of the night, with Seth Griffith setting up a Mason Appleton one-timer with a filthy saucer pass that tied things up with 7:13 to play in regulation. With things tied after 60, things headed to overtime, where the Moose won it after Appleton came in with speed off the right side and threw a shot on net. The resulting rebound plopped down about five feet in front of the goalie, where Michael Spacek gathered it up, calmly deked Kevin Lankinen out of his pants and roofed it to send the home crowed home happy. The Moose are 14-1-0-1 in their last 16 at Bell MTS Place.

Marko Dano, Skley McKenzie and Jansen Harkins missed the weekend games as they sat out with injuries, as did captain Peter Stoykewych who is recovering from appendicitis. Some good news is that it appears reinforcements are on the way, with Kristian Vesalainen returning to Winnipeg after his season overseas.

The Moose play the Texas Stars at Bell MTS Place on Wednesday and Friday, with each game starting at 7 p.m. Texas is led in scoring by Erik COndra, Justin Dowling and Denis Gurianov.

Also, since when can goalies do this?

Moose Lines on March 10, 2019

FORWARDS

Mason Appleton / Logan Shaw / Seth Griffith

Hunter Fejes / Michael Spacek / J.C. Lipon

Brent Pedersen / Felix Girard / Alexis D’Aoust

Kristian Reichel / Cam Maclise / Ryan White

DEFENCE

Logan Stanley/ Tucker Poolman

Cameron Schilling/ Charles-David Beaudoin

Jimmy Oligny/ Nelson Nogier

GOALIES

Mikhail Berdin

Eric Comrie

Last Two Game Scores (Outscored Opponents 5-2)

Saturday, March 9
3 Manitoba Moose vs
1 Rockford IceHogs

Moose Goals: D’Aoust (7), White (1), Girard (3)
Goalie: Comrie 33/34

Sunday, March 10
2 Manitoba Moose vs
1 Rockford IceHogs (OT)

Moose Goals: Appleton (9), Spacek (9)
Goalie: Berdin 32/33