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Manitoba Moose @ Laval Rocket Recap - Oct 20th

Manitoba Moose @ Laval Rocket Recap - Oct 20th

Ville Heinola Jake Lucchini

The Manitoba Moose (1-1) faced off against the Laval Rocket (1-1) tonight to finish off the 3 game road trip that started their season.

In the opening 2 games, the Moose have spread out their offense, with 12 of 18 players getting their first points of the year. On the negative side, guys like David Gustafsson & Jeff Malott are amongst the players yet to find the scoresheet.

Johnny Kovacevic was leading the team with 3 pts through the opening pair of games versus the Toronto Marlies, while Mikey Eyssimont & Greg Meireles each picked up 2 points. Mikhail Berdin's record was 1-1 with a 2.00 GAA & a .907 save percentage coming into tonight's game.

Manitoba will be altering their lineup for the first time of the season, as Dominic Toninato & Nicholas Jones come out and are replaced by CJ Suess & Thomas Caron (possibly in preparation of calling Toninato up to the Jets?).

Cole Perfetti was assigned to the Moose today, but with Manitoba currently on the road, I'm guessing he won't get his first AHL action until Friday's home opener. (though if COVID spreads through the Jets as some rumours are indicating, he may be called back up to the big club before then)

The Rocket opened the year splitting a series with the Belleville Senators, winning 6-2 before dropping the next game 5-2. The Laval Rocket roster featured some noteables: former Winnipeg Jet Gabriel Bourque, 1st round draft pick Ryan Poehling, and 2nd round draft picks Jesse Ylonen & Laurent Dauphin.

Moose Projected Line Up

Malott/Gustafsson/Reichel

Suess/L. Johnson/Poganski

Eyssimont/Maier/Lynch

Polei/Meireles/Caron


Oligny/Kovacevic

Heinola/Gawanke

Chisholm/Lundmark


Berdin

Holm

1st Period Recap:

  • The game opened up with both teams skating back & forth, but not managing many shots (1 each), though Manitoba did create a couple decent chances (Suess/Eyssimont) that missed the net.
  • 2 Rocket players collided after Heinola eluded their bodychecks and were slow to get up.
  • Lundmark tried to squeeze out Laval's Baddock on the boards as he entered the Moose zone, but allowed him to slip through. Baddock passed the puck to Dauphin in the slot and he was able to release a shot that just sneaked under Berdin's pad to give Laval a 1-0 lead.
  • Rocket Goal: Dauphin (3) from Baddock (2) & Ouellet (2).
  • Manitoba ended up creating their best opportunity of the game shortly after, when the 1st line had a long shift in the offensive zone. Laval failed to clear the zone by Lynch and Gustafsson skated onto the puck, throwing it towards the net. Eyssimont drove to the net to provide a screen and managed to get a stick on the puck. Laval's Primeau couldn't react in time and the Moose tied the game up at 1.
  • Moose Goal: Eyssimont (3) from Gustafsson (1) & Lynch (2)
  • Eyssimont now has a goal in each of Manitoba's opening 3 games.
  • Each team had just managed 3 shots on net as the midway point of the 1st period passed. Caron was able to draw a penalty in the offensive zone shortly after, sending Manitoba to their first PP of the game.
  • Johnson had the best chance in the first half of the PP, but his shot sailed high. The 2nd PP unit had difficulties obtaining the Rocket zone and were unable to manage a shot before the penalty expired.
  • After Kovacevic broke up a play in the neutral zone, Johnson got a wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle that Primeau was able to get a glove on.
  • Nice hit by Gawanke to break up a play in the defensive end. Both teams were again struggling to get any sustained offensive pressure.
  • Berdin forced to make a nice save through traffic after a Manitoba neutral zone turnover. Off the next face-off, he was able to get a blocker on a quick shot.
  • After the Moose's 2nd line was trapped in their end for a shift, the 1st line came on the ice and Malott intercepted a pass at the Rocket blueline. He skated it in for a bit before finding a streaking Gustafsson, who quickly snapped it into the open net to give Manitoba the 2-1 lead.
  • Moose Goal: Gustafsson (1) from Malott (1)
  • With 2 minutes left in the period, the Moose are outshooting the Rocket 9-6.
  • Kovacevic made a much needed defensive play when Laval tried a long stretch pass with 30 seconds remaining. Manitoba went back the other way for their own chance, but the shot wasn't accurate.
  • Neither team managed a shot in the last 2 minutes of play and the period ended with the Moose leading 2-1 (shots 9-6).
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Eyssimont (3) & Kovacevic (2)

2nd Period Recap:

  • 1st line for the Moose opened up the 2nd period with a strong forecheck shift, pinning the Rocket in their own end, but fail to get a shot on net.
  • A pass attempt by Lundmark to exit the Manitoba end was intercepted, but he quickly recovered to force a Laval shot that Berdin was able to glove & hold for a whistle.
  • The AHL site doesn't keep track of hits, but I would say that Suess probably has over 5 already this game. For his first game back from injury, Suess is playing fast & physical.
  • Laval & Manitoba trade opportunities, but the goaltenders stood tall. Eyssimont's shot just grazed Primeau's shoulder and deflected over the net.
  • 5 minutes into the period and Laval have almost caught Manitoba in shots (12-11) after a successful push to start the period.
  • Strong defensive play by both teams so far tonight making it difficult for teams that dump the puck in to get possession back. Smart passes from the back end helping both teams execute break outs.
  • Oligny shot through traffic led to a rebound that a couple 2nd line Moose players tried to get a piece of, but Laval's defense was able to clear the puck from danger.
  • Just before the midway point of the 2nd, a quick break out led to a pass to Laval's Roy. He outpaced Kovacevic before skating into the low slot when he snapped a shot to the far side of the net that flew over Berdin's pad and into the net. Laval ties the game up at 2, while trailing 14-15 in shots.
  • Rocket Goal: Roy (1) from Belzile (1) & Fairbrother (1)
  • The Moose quickly responded by getting a penalty and sending Laval to the PP. Berdin was able to make the first save, but during the following scrum Oligny picked up another penalty sending Laval to a 5 on 3 PP for almost a full 2 minutes. Very questionable call from the ref, as a Rocket slashed Berdin well after the whistle which caused the scrum in the first place.
  • The Rocket kept control from the face-off and after passing it for 30 seconds, set up a 1 timer from Belzile to give Laval a 3-2 lead.
  • Rocket Goal: Belzile (1) from Ylonen (1) & Harvey-Pinard (2) - PowerPlay
  • During the face-off following the goal, somehow Laval picked up a penalty for a face-off violation sending the game to 4 on 4 for just over a minute.
  • Gustafsson made a nice move allowing the Moose to gain the zone. He later tried to slide a cross-ice pass to an open teammate, but it was broken up at the last second. Moose can't capitalize on the 4 on 4 or the short PP that followed.
  • After delivering a punishing hit on a Rocket, Caron had a brief fight before throwing his Laval's Dea to the ice. Manitoba ends up with a PP, as Dea got called as the instigator.
  • 1st PP unit able to get possession off the face-off and get 2 good shots (Reichel & Heinola) before Malott got caught with a hook in the offensive zone. 4 on 4 for 1 minute & 8 seconds.
  • Berdin forced to make a save from close in when a Rocket cut to the net by Chisholm. Moose went the other way on a 3 on 2 that ended with a 1 timer from Gawanke that caused Primeau a bit of difficulty, but he was able to cover before a Moose play could pounce on the puck.
  • With a minute and a half left, Manitoba had a good chance when they found themselves on a 2 on 1 with Malott carrying the puck. The Rocket defender played it well, forcing the shot which sailed high over the net.
  • The Moose pinned the Rocket in their own end for the remainder of the period, frustrating every break out attempt they tried. The period ended with Laval leading 3-2 and the shots 21 to 19 in favour of Manitoba.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Eyssimont (6) and Gustafsson (4)

3rd Period Recap:

  • Malott made a nice pass to send a streaking Gustafsson into the Laval zone, he tried to cut by the defender and send a backhand to the net, but the Rocket defender was able to deflect it off target.
  • Nice pinch by Lundmark to help the 4th line keep the offensive zone. Nice possession, but no chances to be had.
  • Laval's Fairbrother got caught roughing the Moose's Poganski as he drove to the net, drawing a penalty and send Manitoba to the PP.
  • A clean face-off win by Gustafsson allowed Malott to poke the puck back to the point. Heinola quickly unloaded a slapshot that found space over Primeau's glove to tie the game up at 3-3.
  • Moose Goal: Heinola (1) from Malott (2) & Gustafsson (2) - PowerPlay
  • Manitoba immediately had another scoring chance when Johnson unleashed a shot from the slot that just missed the far corner.
  • Shortly after, Chisholm bobbled a puck in his own end leading to the Rocket's Dea getting a glorious chance from in tight and he made no mistake. The Rocket retake the lead 4-3 just over 5 minutes into the 3rd.
  • Rocket Goal: Dea (2) unassisted
  • Since taking the lead, Laval started to play more defensively and trying to clutter up the neutral zone. The strategy frustrated Manitoba's efforts to gain the offensive zone and resulted in limited shots for both teams.
  • As we approached the midway point of the 3rd, Laval held a 29-24 advantage in shots on net.
  • Manitoba's 1st line had a 3 on 2 and Malott set up a shot from Reichel that tested Primeau, but Laval quickly counterattacked. After the Rocket hit the post on their first chance, the puck eventually found its way to Laval's Paquette-Bisson and he was able to beat Berdin low on the glove side. Laval increased their lead to 5-3 with just over 9 minutes remaining in the period.
  • Rocket Goal: Paquette-Bisson (1) from Beaudin (2) & Baddock (3)
  • Moose continued to struggle trying to gain the Rocket zone. Suess took a clear bodycheck to the numbers in the neutral zone and was slow to get up, however the refs didn't think it deserved a penalty. Fortunately Suess was able to remain in the game.
  • Gawanke pinched and sent a spectacular pass across the front of the Laval goal to find Poganski, but he shoveled the puck wide. A scrum ensued and both teams drew a penalty sending the game to 4 on 4.
  • 7 seconds into the 4 on 4, Laval picked up an interference call to send Manitoba to a 4 on 3 PP.
  • The Moose were able to win the draw and get a couple of shots before Laval was able to clear the zone. Reichel was working well in front of the net, screening shots and digging out rebounds.
  • Gustafsson set up both Johnson & Heinola, but both unable to find a way to beat Primeau. Another failed 1 timer from Johnson and the PP came to and end.
  • Manitoba continued to keep the pressure on, which led to Heinola being pulled down by Bourque to send the Moose to the PP yet again with 2 & a half minutes left in the period.
  • Heinola stayed on with the 2nd PP unit and ended up sending a shot on net. Despite the puck being deflected multiple times on route, Primeau was able to react and keep it out. The Moose put continuous pressure on and had quite a few chances, but could not find a way to solve Primeau for a 4th goal.
  • After being outshot 13-5 at one point, Manitoba is now outshooting them 16-13.
  • So many chances the Moose had, including a blast from Suess on a 1 timer that hit the crossbar. They kept possession and the puck came out to Johnson, who finally ripped a shot by the Laval keeper to bring Manitoba within 1 goal.
  • Moose Goal: L. Johnson (1) from Heinola (2) & Gustafsson (3)
  • However, with only 3 seconds remaining in the game, they came up short in the end.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Johnson (8), Eyssimont (7), Gustafsson (4), & Malott (4)
  • Final Score: Laval 5 Manitoba 4 Shots: Laval 32 Manitoba 38

Final Thoughts:

  • Gustafsson exploded this game, picking up a goal and 3 assists after being involved in all 4 Moose goals in the game.
  • Suess had a strong 1st game of the year, had multiple chances but couldn't get a point.
  • Johnson had so many shots in the 3rd period & he was able to score on 1 of them, but that first PP needs a better triggerman to be dangerous.
  • Berdin didn't look great in this one, turning aside 27 of 32 shots.
  • Manitoba went 1 for 6 on the PP in this game, though two of the opportunities were very short.
  • Kovacevic continues to play well, Heinola had his best game of the year (with a goal, assist, 3 shots, +3), Malott picked up his first points of the season, & Eyssimont showed that he deserved the promotion to the 3rd line with another effective game.
  • 3 Stars of the Game:
      • 1st: Alex Belzile - Laval
      • 2nd: David Gustafsson - Manitoba
      • 3rd: Brandon Baddock - Laval
  • Up Next: Grand Rapids @ Manitoba Moose on Friday, Oct 22nd.

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.