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Farm Report: The Home Stretch

The Manitoba Moose play two final home games this weekend before finishing the season on the road.

The Manitoba Moose salute the fans after beating the Bakersfield Condors on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, MB.
Jonathan Kozub / Manitoba Moose

Manitoba Moose 2018-19
36-28-5-2 79 points (.556), 4th in Central Division, 9th Western Conference
Goals for per game: 2.56 (28th)
Goals against per game: 2.90 (12th)
Powerplay: 44-of-274, 16.1% (28th)
Penalty kill: 242-of-294, 82.3% (10th)

Top 3 Goals:
27 - Logan Shaw
15 - Seth Griffith
13 - Mason Appleton

Top 3 Assists:
37 - Seth Griffith
28 - Michael Spacek
22 - Cameron Schilling

Top 3 Points:
52 - Griffith
47 - Shaw
37 - Spacek

Goalies
Eric Comrie - 23-16-4, .916 Sv %, 2.75 GAA, 2 shutouts
Mikhail Berdin - 11-6-3, .932 Sv %, 2.23 GAA, 1 shutout
Ken Appleby - 2-6-0, .881 Sv %, 4.03 GAA, 1 shutout

Since the last Farm Report, the Manitoba Moose picked up seven of a possible eight points, playing a pair of games on the road against the San Antonio Rampage, in which they won one and lost the other in overtime, before returning home to play the Bakersfield Condors twice, winning both contests.

The points have propelled the Moose into a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division, with five games to go. The Moose hold the tie-breaker over the Milwaukee Admirals, with the Texas Stars and Rockford IceHogs still in the mix as well.

An interesting development in the standings recently has seen the Iowa Wild pick up just five points in their last 10 games, and they now sit just two points ahead of Manitoba in third, with Manitoba holding a game in hand and the tie-breaker between the two.

The Moose host the Stockton Heat in a pair of matinees this weekend to wrap up the home portion of their regular season calendar.

Mikhail Berdin has started the last six games for the Manitoba Moose, including going back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday. Berdin has filled in quite well as starter since Eric Comrie got called up to the Winnipeg Jets, where he will be for the remainder of the regular season (at least). Through 20 games played, he has a .932 save percentage, and the 21-year-old has done quite well in his first pro season.

The Moose power play has also come to life at the right time. While still just 16.1% on the season, they went 5-of-18 over the last four games, a 27.8% clip that would be tops in the league if they had done that all year.

Recapping the games played, the Moose played in Texas against the San Antonio Rampage on Friday, March 29th. Despite falling behind in the first period, the Moose were buoyed to victory by a pair of goals from Ryan White during the second period, as the fourth line contributed all the offence required. Mikhail Berdin turned aside 27 of 28 in the effort.

The next night, the two teams went at it again. This time it was the Moose grabbing a first period lead before seeing it switch over to San Antonio in the second. The Moose regained the lead via goals from Felix Girard and Seth Griffith, but San Antonio tied it up with an extra attacker to send it to overtime. In the extra frame, San Antonio scored after a number of chances, with Jake Walman murdering Berdin’s water bottle on a one-timer.

The Moose returned home for a pair of mid-week games against the Pacific Division leading Bakersfield Condors. The Tuesday night game saw the Moose score a trio of power play goals, one in each period, while killing off seven power play chances for the Condors, with a third period goal the lone blemish on a terrific night from Berdin, who stopped 40 of 41. Seth Griffith, Logan Shaw, and Mason Appleton had the goals for the home squad.

On Wednesday, Berdin started his fourth game in six nights. The first period was all Bakersfield, but Berdin stopped all 14 shots he faced during the opening 20, while his team mustered just four shots on the Condors’ net. Bakersfield opened the scoring, with Mark Messier’s nephew Luke Esposito getting the goal. The Moose responded by grabbing the lead before the period ended, with Charles-David Beaudoin and Logan Shaw scoring. The Condors tied it early in the third, but with 3:28 remaining Mason Appleton snapping in a rebound to give the Moose a lead they would not relinquish. Kristian Vesalainen had a pair of assists, breaking a five game point drought. The top couple of lines as a whole had struggled to find their offence for a bit, before coming alive against Bakersfield.

J.C. Lipon and Tucker Poolman were both injured while playing against San Antonio, and will miss the rest of the regular season at a minimum. Poolman had his left leg caught under a Rampage player, and saw it twist awkwardly. Lipon, I cannot remember seeing what happened, but it was during the Saturday game against San Antonio.

Moose Lines on April 3, 2019

FORWARDS

Marko Dano / Logan Shaw / Mason Appleton

Kristian Vesalainen / Felix Girard / Seth Griffith

Jansen Harkins / Michael Spacek / Ryan White

Hunter Fejes / Cam Maclise / Kristian Reichel

DEFENCE

Logan Stanley / Peter Stoykewych

Cameron Schilling / Nelson Nogier

Jimmy Oligny / Charles-David Beaudoin

GOALIES

Mikhail Berdin

Ken Appleby

Last Four Game Scores (Outscored Opponents 11-8)

Friday, March 29
2 Manitoba Moose @
1 San Antonio Rampage

Moose Goals: White 2 (5)
Goalie: Berdin 27/28

Saturday, March 30
3 Manitoba Moose @
4 San Antonio Rampage (OT)

Moose Goals: Fejes (3), Girard (5), Griffith (14)
Goalie: Berdin 20/24

Tuesday, April 2

3 Manitoba Moose vs
1 Bakersfield Condors

Moose Goals: Griffith (15), Shaw (26), Appleton (12)
Goalie: Berdin 40/41

Wednesday, April 3
3 Manitoba Moose vs
2 Bakersfield Condors

Moose Goals: Beaudoin (1), Shaw (27), Appleton (13)
Goalie: Berdin 29/31