Texas Stars @ Manitoba Moose Recap - Nov 27th

Texas Stars @ Manitoba Moose Recap - Nov 27th

Fast Facts: Moose vs. Texas - Nov. 27 - Manitoba Moose

At a time when the Winnipeg Jets' prospects are looking bleak, it is always nice to be able to turn my focus to the Manitoba Moose. Fortunately for me, the Jets' AHL team is set to start a back-to-back set of home games against the Dallas Stars' farm team on Saturday afternoon. Hopefully the Moose can provide an example of how to play hockey the right way, before I am forced to watch the debaucle that will likely occur when the Winnipeg Jets face the Calgary Flames later tonight.

Manitoba currently sits in 3rd place in the AHL's Central Division, while Texas holds on to the 5th position. After this weekend's games, the Moose will have played a quarter (18) of their regular seasons games (72). Since the top 4 teams (by winning percentage) in each division qualify for the playoffs, the year has started off fairly well.

Coming into this match up, the Moose have the advantage over the Stars on the powerplay (20.3% to 15.6%) and penalty killing (87.5% to 84.6%). Coach Morrison has opted to go with a 11 forward/7 defenseman roster for this afternoon's tilt, with all 6 of the Jets defensive draft picks in the line-up.

David Gustafsson currently leads Manitoba in scoring with 13 pts, though Ville Heinola is right on his heels with 12 pts after a strong November (9 pts in 9 games). Cole Perfetti, Leon Gawanke, and Austin Poganski all have 10 pts to round out the Moose's top 5 point getters.

Both Mikhail Berdin and Arvid Holm have struggled to put up great goaltending numbers so far, thanks mainly to a steady diet of low quantity, but high quality shots against each game. The Russian netminder will get the start today, coming in with a 5-5 record, 2.72 GAA, a .887 save percentage, and two shut outs.

Manitoba has gone 5-2 at home this year, with Cole Perfetti playing strong (7 pts in 7 games). Another hot Moose player is Kristian Reichel, who has tallied 5 pts in the past 4 games, including a last minute game winning goal.

The Texas Stars have been playing better the past 4 games (2-0-1-1), with half of the games going to shoot-out before a victor was determined and the other half just needing overtime. The Stars have a mix of veteran players along with some younger prospects:

  • Former NHLer Blake Comeau
  • Long-time AHLers Alex Petrovic and Curtis McKenzie
  • 1st rounders Ty Dellandrea (13th in 2018) and Thomas Harley (18th in 2019)
  • 3rd rounders Oskar Back (75th in 2018) and Fredrik Karlstrom (90th in 2016)
  • Undrafted d-man Max Martin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Curtis McKenzie leads the Stars with 11 pts, while fellow forwards Riley Damiani (10 pts), Joel L'Esperance (9 pts), and Oskar Back (9 pts) are right behind him. With starting goaltender Jake Oettinger called up to their parent club, the Texas team will have to rely on a pair of less experienced backups this weekend in Colton Point (1-1, 3.36 GAA, .886%) or Adam Scheel (1-0-1, 2.94 GAA, .894%).

Moose Projected Line Up














1st Period Recap:

  • The two teams opened up with some tight checking in the opening minutes, with most of the time spent in the neutral zone. The best chance came when a Samberg wrist shot was deflected just wide of the net.
  • Manitoba got an early PP opportunity when the 3rd line drew a holding penalty 3:38 into the 1st.
  • The 1st PP unit immediately created a chance when a rebound was picked up by Poganski and almost wrapped around into the net. The Stars' Scheel was able to jam his pad against the post and keep the puck out. Texas had a SH breakaway that Berdin did well with to stay on his feet after a quick move & shot. He kicked out the puck with a pad save and a quick rebound was also stopped before the 2nd PP unit cleared their own end. That unit finished the PP with a brief flurry of shots but were unable to find the game's opening goal before the advantage was over.
  • The 4th line kept the Stars pinned in their end with some good pressure. Heinola just missed the top corner when he stepped in & let a wrist shot fly.
  • Samberg almost found a streaking Malott with a stretch pass that would have resulted in a breakaway. Teams deadlocked at 5 shots apiece at the midway point of the opening period.
  • The Moose's Jones channeled his inner "Brandon Tanev" and buzzed around on the forecheck. Eventually he forced the defenseman Harley to hold him up and Manitoba went to the 2nd PP of the game with 8:22 left.
  • The Moose won the draw and quickly set up Heinola for a 1 timer that was turned aside by Scheel. The 1st unit continued to control the puck, but the next two Heinola 1 timers hit players in front of the net. The 2nd unit tried to get something done with some good puck movement that led to Malott getting the puck at the side of the net. He quickly made a backhand-forehand move to power in front and try to jam it by the goalie. The Stars were able to kill the final 15 seconds off and the teams were back to even strength.
  • Shortly after, a Texas forward drove around Polei, who ended up tripping him up and sent Manitoba to the PK for the first time of the game.
  • The Moose PK did well limiting chances in the opening minute of short-handed time before the Stars were able to get set up. They moved the puck around for 30 seconds, but their best shot went wide of the net & Gawanke was able to clear the rebound off the back boards to kill the remainder of the penalty.
  • 4 seconds after Polei returned to the ice, Samberg tried to corral a Texas player against the boards, but his stick ended up tripping the Star forward as he attempted to escape.
  • With just under 4 minutes left in the period, Berdin was called on to make a save when he went left to right across the goalline to stop a 1 timer attempt. Manitoba made it hard for the Stars to regain the offensive zone for the next minute or so. Texas controlled the puck and kept constant pressure on for the final 30 seconds, with their best shot stopped by the flashing glove of Berdin. A face-off win and shot led to one last scramble in front of the Moose net before the penalty to Samberg ended.
  • Manitoba responded to a good penalty kill with a shift from the 1st line. They were able to gain the Stars' end and Poganski found himself in the right hand corner with the puck. He fed a nice pass to Gustafsson in the low slot and Gus quickly moved it on to Perfetti, who was uncovered as he flew in from the left face-off dot. Perfetti made no mistake when he slipped it by Scheel's pad as he tried to come across to make the save. Moose took a 1-0 lead with a minute & a half left.
  • Moose Goal: Perfetti (5) from Gustafsson (9) and Poganski (8)
  • Neither team could manage much with the time remaining and Manitoba was up 1-0 when the horn sounded. Shots were 11 to 8 in favour of the Moose.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Reichel/Poganski/Malott/Maier (2)

2nd Period Recap:

  • Heinola fanned on a pass at his own blueline resulting in a chance the other way. Oligny was able to come across and break up the play before Berdin was forced to make a save.
  • A good shift on the forecheck by the 4th line with Poganski, but a careless stick by Maier ended up in a highsticking penalty. Manitoba back on the PK just 1:48 into the 2nd.
  • Texas won the opening draw and put on pressure for the next minute. Berdin called on to make a big pad save & Kovacevic and Gustafsson had big shot blocks. Manitoba did not allow the Stars to regain their zone with possession in the final 30 seconds.
  • Malott found a rebound at the side of the net and was able to slide a puck through Scheel's legs as he slid across. The puck glided across the front of the net, surprising Perfetti and he couldn't get a stick on the puck, missing a chance for his 2nd goal of the game.
  • The following shift, Reichel flew down the left wing and drove by the defenseman. He was able to cut across the front of the net, but the goalie was able to get a pad on his shot to deny the great solo effort by Reichel.
  • Texas clang the right post behind Berdin on a shot through a bit of traffic from the high slot.
  • The Stars' Melnick caught Samberg flat-footed and was able to get a shot from the low face-off circle that hit Berdin up in the torso.
  • Texas started to put on a bit of pressure as we reached the middle of the 2nd period. Shots were even at 15.
  • Moose give up a 2 on 1, but Chisholm played the pass well forcing the puck carrier to flip a pass over his block and off target.
  • 1st line responded with a shift that resulted in a couple chances for Samberg (first shot barely missed the low corner, while the second was handled without too much difficulty).
  • 2nd line took advantage of tired defenders after an icing call, controlling the puck and creating a bunch of chances. The 3rd line followed up with a good shift as well, the best chance was a 2 on 1 where Jones was forced to shoot but didn't beat Scheel's pad as he tried for the low right corner.
  • The 3rd line gained the offensive zone when Polei carried the puck along the left wing. He sent a pass to the slot looking for Caron, but the pass went through his legs and towards the point. Kovacevic charged into the zone to beat 3 Star players to the puck and quickly slapped a low shot towards the net. The puck found a way through some legs in front and darted through the tender's legs to give the Moose a 2-0 lead with 5:10 left in the frame.
  • Moose Goal: Kovacevic (4) from Polei (4) and Samberg (1)
  • With 3 minutes left, a good forecheck by Manitoba resulted in a delay of game (puck over glass) penalty and sent them back to the PP for the third time.
  • The 1st unit was able to control the puck for over a minute, getting a few chances with the best being off a scramble in front when a puck just bounced out of Poganski's reach. The 2nd unit wasn't able to do much with their short period with the man advantage.
  • As the Texas player came out of the box, he joined a 2 on 1 rush. The 3 on 1 was broken up when Oligny slid to break up the pass attempt.
  • The period ended with the Moose leading 2-0 and amassing a 23 to 18 lead on the shot count.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Reichel/Poganski/Malott (3), Heinola/Jones/Maier (2)

3rd Period Recap:

  • CJ Suess stood up in the neutral zone and poked the puck off a Texas skater. The puck bounced to Poganski along the left wing boards and he carried it into the Stars' zone, 1 on 1 with a defender. Suess drove to the net to make it a 2 on 1 and Poganski flipped the puck by the d-man. Somehow Suess was able to handle the bouncing pass and bat the puck towards the net, finding a way through the goalie to give Manitoba a 3-0 lead 1:39 into the 3rd period.
  • Moose Goal: Suess (3) from Poganski (9)
  • Samberg made a nice interception in the defensive zone to break up a Texas counter-attack.
  • Jones was almost able to crash a rebound by Scheel, but a quick whistle denied him a second chance at the loose puck.
  • Perfetti & Heinola helped the 4th line keep possession of the puck in the Stars' end, with lots of good work along the boards for that group.
  • Manitoba doing a very good job of jamming up their blueline, making it hard for Texas to carry the puck into the offensive zone.
  • A quick counter-attack by the Stars' Damiani on a 2 on 1. The Moose defender strictly played the pass as Oligny tried to catch up to Damiani, basically making it a breakaway. Berdin was able to stay with the forward's move and the puck hit his pad, however it bounced off the back-checking Oligny's skates and into the net. Texas made it 3 to 1 with 11: 11 remaining in the 3rd.
  • Stars Goal: Damiani (4) from McKenzie (7)
  • Shortly after, Reichel was caught with a slash when he broke an opponent's stick in the neutral zone. With 9 and a half minutes left, Texas was only trailing 26-24 on the shot counter.
  • Nice block by Samberg and then a good play to ice the puck in the early part of the PK. Another timely block by Jones. Good sacrifices of the body allow the Moose to kill off another short-handed situation without giving up a shot against. They had not allowed a goal in 4 powerplay chances for the Stars at this point.
  • After a strong shift by the 3rd line, the 1st line came on to continue the pressure. Poganski found Lundmark with some space in the high slot but his slap shot was handled by the goalie.
  • Heinola took a stick in the face as he attempted a poke check, sending the Moose to their 4th PP of the game with 5.5 minutes left in the 3rd.
  • Fairly sloppy start to the Manitoba PP, but the 1st unit did manage a shot from Gustafsson on a rush. The 2nd unit struggled to gain the zone initially, but were able to push for the final 10 seconds.
  • The Moose were unable to score with the man advantage, but continued to keep the puck in the offensive zone for a minute after the penalty ended.
  • The Texas goalie was pulled with 2 and a half minutes to go and the Stars were able to get possession in the Moose end. A missed chance for the Stars on a cross-ice pass, but Lundmark was able to break up the play. He got the puck to Jones, who poked it out to center. Polei won a race for the puck , swatting it down the ice and watched as it bounced into the empty net. Manitoba took a 4 to 1 lead.
  • Moose Goal: Polei (2) from Jones (1) and Lundmark (1)
  • Despite a late push by Manitoba, they failed to reach the 30 shot mark for the first time this season.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Malott (4), Reichel/Poganski (3)
  • Final Score: MANITOBA 4 TEXAS 1
  • Shots: MANITOBA 29 TEXAS 28

Final Thoughts:

  • Manitoba made a couple of roster moves when they sent forward Bobby Lynch and defenseman Hayden Shaw to affiliates Newfoundland Growlers and Trois-Rivieres Lions respectively.
  • Johnny Kovacevic scored his 4th goal of the year and is currently the goal scoring leader for Moose defensemen. Gawanke (3), Heinola (2), Chisholm (2), and Oligny (2) are other d-men that have lit the red light on multiple occasions.
  • Strong performance by Mikhail Berdin in this game, an unlucky bounce away from his 3rd shut out of the year.
  • The top line of Perfetti/Gustafsson/Poganski are really making it very difficult for opposing teams to contain them. Gustafsson was often the first player on the forecheck in this game, which was nice to see after a couple games where he tended to be the 2nd or 3rd man into the zone. Definitely are dangerous when Gus & Poganski can muscle the puck out to Perfetti with a good forecheck.
  • Poganski currently on a 5 game point streak. Samberg picked up his first point of the year with an assist.
  • 3 Stars of the Game:
    • 1st: Austin Poganski - Manitoba (2 assists)
    • 2nd: Mikhail Berdin - Manitoba (saved 27 of 28 shots)
    • 3rd: CJ Suess - Manitoba (1 goal)
  • The Manitoba Moose had a Home Grown celebration at this game, giving away over 5500 packages of perogies. Mmmm....gotta love perogies with bacon, onions, and sour cream.
  • Up Next: Texas Stars @ Manitoba Moose on Nov 28th @ 2 PM CST.

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