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Farm Report: On the Road Again

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After picking up nine of a possible 12 points at home, the Moose head back out for five straight on the road.

Kristian Vesalainen of the Manitoba Moose plays in a game against the San Diego Gulls on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, MB.
Jonathan Kozub/Manitoba Moose

Manitoba Moose 2018-19
31-27-4-2 68 points (.531), 6th in Central Division, 11th Western Conference
Goals for per game: 2.56 (30th)
Goals against per game: 3.02 (16th)
Powerplay: 37-of-246, 15.0% (29th)
Penalty kill: 213-of-263, 81.0% (17th)

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

Top 3 Assists:
33 - Seth Griffith
27 - Michael Spacek
20 - Tucker Poolman

Top 3 Points:
45 - Griffith
43 - Shaw
36 - Spacek

Goalies
Eric Comrie - 23-16-4, .916 Sv %, 2.75 GAA, 2 shutouts
Mikhail Berdin - 7-5-2, .932 Sv %, 2.27 GAA, 1 shutout
Ken Appleby - 1-6-0, .865 Sv %, 4.59 GAA, 0 shutouts

The Manitoba Moose have played four games, all at home, since the last Farm Report, with a 2-1-1 record during that time. They played a pair of games each against the Texas Stars, one of the teams battling for a playoff spot in the AHL’s Central Division, and the San Diego Gulls, sitting second in the Pacific Division.

Both games against Texas were tightly fought contests. The Moose emerged victorious in regulation in the mid-week game on the 13th, with a 4-3 win in which neither goaltender’s stat lines proved all that great, but goals from four different Moose players gave them the edge.

The second contest between the two teams two days later saw the Stars jump out to a 4-1 lead after two periods, but the Moose clawed back to force overtime, where they eventually lost. This game saw Eric Comrie get pulled in favour of Mikhail Berdin after Comrie gave up three goals on 10 shots in the first period. Gaining a point was good, but the Stars getting two caused a dent in the Moose playoff hopes.

The dent only got bigger on Sunday night, when the San Diego Gulls felled the Moose by a 4-1 score, spoiling Kristian Vesalainen’s return to the Moose lineup. Vesalainen would have his revenge on Tuesday night, scoring the overtime winner as the Moose prevailed 4-3.

A player who has been doing rather well for the Moose as of late is Tucker Poolman, as the defender has 15 points in his last 18 games. Marko Dano has 11 points in his last 14, as he has also found his form. After going 16 straight games without a point, Logan Stanley has six in his last eight.

Unfortunately, there are a few players cooling at an inopportune time. Eric Comrie has not been nearly as good of late. In his last 10 starts, he has a .896 save percentage, as it could be that the AHL’s leader in minutes played this season is running out of gas.

Mason Appleton has five points in nine games since returning to the Moose, and Logan Shaw, despite three points in his last three, just got off of an eight game point drought.

With five straight coming up on the road, the Moose have to do better than they have previously this year when their name falls under the visiting team column. A road record of 9-17-3-1 just won’t cut it.

Unfortunately for the Moose, their road test begins with two games against one of the best goalies in the AHL, as they visit the Colorado Eagles and Pavel Francouz. His .919 save percentage may not seem terrific, but it’s the sixth best among qualified goalies in the AHL (and best among goalies that have played 40 or more games). Comrie’s .916 save percentage is 10th among qualified goalies and 3rd among goalies with 40 or more games.

Speaking of Comrie, he got called up earlier today, so the load will be dealt with by Mikhail Berdin (yay!) and Ken Appleby (woof!) until he returns.

Moose Lines on March 10, 2019

FORWARDS

Kristian Vesalainen / Logan Shaw / Seth Griffith

Marko Dano / Michael Spacek / Mason Appleton

Jansen Harkins / Felix Girard / J.C. Lipon

Hunter Fejes / Cam Maclise / Ryan White

DEFENCE

Logan Stanley / Tucker Poolman

Cameron Schilling / Nelson Nogier

Jimmy Oligny / Charles-David Beaudoin

GOALIES

Eric Comrie

Mikhail Berdin

Last Four Game Scores (Outscored by Opponents 15-13)

Wednesday, March 13
4 Manitoba Moose vs
3 Texas Stars

Moose Goals: Maclise (2), Dano (10), Schilling (3), Girard (4)
Goalie: Comrie 20/23

Friday, March 15
4 Manitoba Moose vs
5 Texas Stars (OT)

Moose Goals: Shaw (24), Appleton (10), Dano (11), Oligny (2)
Goalie: Comrie, 7/10, Berdin 18/20

Sunday, March 17
1 Manitoba Moose vs
4 San Diego Gulls (OT)

Moose Goal: White (2)
Goalie: Comrie 33/36

Tuesday, March 19
4 Manitoba Moose vs
3 San Diego Gulls (OT)

Moose Goals: White (3), Shaw (25), Schilling (4), Vesalainen (4)
Goalie: Comrie 36/39