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Iowa Wild (11-10-2-2) @ Manitoba Moose (15-9-1) Recap - Jan 2nd

Iowa Wild (11-10-2-2) @ Manitoba Moose (15-9-1) Recap - Jan 2nd

The Manitoba Moose are set to play their first game since December 17th this afternoon when they take on the Iowa Wild. They have had a pair of games versus the Texas Stars and the Abbotsford Canucks postponed due to the pandemic and will have to make up those matches later in the season.

Manitoba currently finds itself sitting in 2nd place in the AHL's Central Division with a winning percentage of .620, while Iowa is tied for 3rd place with Grand Rapids (.520). Coming into today's game, the Moose have been 6-4 over their past 10 games, while the Wild have gone 2-5-1-2.

The Moose own the third-highest winning percentage in the AHL when scoring first (.857) this year. Manitoba defenseman Ville Heinola has so far recorded the most shots (65) by a defenseman in the AHL.

With some of the regular Moose players (Suess, Reichel, Gustafsson, Holm, & Perfetti) currently up with the Jets, the coaching staff had to make quite a few alterations to the lineup. With Holm on Winnipeg's taxi squad and Mikhail Berdin unavailable (illness?), Manitoba has recalled Philippe Desrosiers from the ECHL, signed Evan Cormier, and have Winnipegger Jason Kasdorf as an emergency backup for today's game. When you also factor in the injury to forward Luke Johnson, Coach Morrison has opted to go with a 11 forward/7 defenseman ratio, though Nogier may be playing forward...check out the full lineup below.

The Iowa Wild have managed to beat the Manitoba Moose on 2 of 3 occasions this season, with Austrian Marco Rossi (drafted 1 spot ahead of Cole Perfetti) and former NHL goaltender Andrew Hammond leading the way. Iowa has yet to start the same goalie in any of the 3 games they have played versus Manitoba and will continue the pattern as they will start Trevin Kozlowski (first start of the season, though he did play 19 minutes in relief, allowing 2 goals against).

Moose Projected Line Up

Malott/Maier/Poganski

Eyssimont/Meireles/Burgess

Polei/Jones/I. Johnson

Caron/Egle/Nogier*

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Samberg/Kovacevic

Chisholm/Gawanke

Heinola/Oligny

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Cormier

Kasdorf

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1st Period Recap:

  • The Manitoba Moose opened the game with tempo and the first 2 lines spent time pressuring the Iowa Wild defense. After a shot by Eyssimont from the neutral zone was held for a whistle by Kozlowski, the Moose had a chance off an offensive zone face-off to the right of the goaltender.
  • Jones was able to tap the puck back off the face-off and tie up the opposing center. Caron came in and poked the puck back to the point where Chisholm was waiting. He briefly considered a pass before stepping into a slapshot that found a way through traffic and cleanly beat the Iowa goalie. Manitoba took a 1-0 lead just a minute and a half into the game.
  • Moose Goal: Chisholm (6) from Caron (1) and Jones (4)
  • With his 6th goal of the season, Chisholm is now tied for the AHL goal scoring lead by a defenseman (Jordan Gross - Colorado & Joe Hicketts - Iowa).
  • A couple of minutes later, Meireles ended up getting his stick in a d-man's legs while on the forecheck, getting caught with the game's first penalty.
  • The Moose started off really well on the PK, killing off the first minute without allowing the Wild to get set up. Iowa was able to briefly gain the Manitoba end, but the PK pressured the puck carriers enough to create a turnover and allow them to exit their end.
  • Another good shift from the 4th line, creating a chance on a point shot from Gawanke that was deflected a bit wide by Caron.
  • Iowa had a pushback shift, but despite cycling the puck well they were only able to manage 2 long shots on Cormier.
  • With 11 minutes to play in the 1st, the Wild got caught with too many men on the ice, sending the Moose to their 1st PP of the game.
  • Manitoba had some issues getting set up with the man advantage, taking over a minute before they could gain the Wild zone. They couldn't maintain the pressure for long and even gave up a good chance against after a turnover in their own end. The Moose PP is having to deal with many new forwards on each unit and were unable to get a shot before the penalty expired.
  • With 8 minutes to play, the Moose were getting outshot 4-3 and both teams were having difficulties in creating high danger scoring chances.
  • Polei streaked down the left wing and then dropped a pass for Heinola. Ville released a quick shot from the face-off dot but the puck ended up hitting the keeper in the chest.
  • Gawanke tested Manitoba's new goaltender Cormier when he tried to throw a puck behind his own net, but ended up sending it right at his own tender.
  • Moose got caught with another trip on the forecheck, this time Eyssimont was the guilty party.
  • Manitoba won the opening face-off on the PP, but were unable to clear the puck. Some nice work by Poganski along the boards resulted in the Moose breaking out on a short-handed 2 on 2. Later on, Caron won a race for a puck behind the Iowa net and ended up setting Jones up in the low slot for a glorious chance that was denied by Kozlowski.
  • Moose sprung on a 2 on 1 when Eyssimont jumped out of the penalty box, but his shot sailed high over the top right corner.
  • Manitoba's 1st line caused Iowa some problems on a good cycle shift. Maier denied from the side of the net and then again on a wrap-around attempt.
  • The Wild tried to get the tying goal in the last minute of play, pinning the Moose in their own end. Samberg made a strong defensive play to physically move a Wild player off the puck, before calmly making the 1st pass to allow Manitoba to exit their zone.
  • Period ended with the short-handed Moose holding a 1 - 0 lead, while the teams were equal in shots (7-7).
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Maier (2), 5 players with 1

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2nd Period Recap:

  • Smart decision by Samberg to skate to open space and receive a pass, allowing the Moose to exit their own end smoothly. Malott got a bit overzealous and an offside call killed the ensuing rush.
  • Polei ran over a Wild player (McLeod) in the neutral zone that led to an odd man rush for Manitoba. Polei slid a pass to Eyssimont, but he could only tip it into the goaltender's pads. McLeod found Polei after the whistle for a heavyweight bout, but the only solid punch landed was by Polei and it knocked off McLeod's helmet, causing the linesmen to jump in.
  • After the 1st line kept the pressure on Iowa in their defensive end, cycling for a long time and allowing Manitoba to change lines on the fly while keeping offensive zone pressure. Eyssimont skated on to a loose puck and found Burgess with a little space in the low slot. Burgess sniped a quick release, beating the Iowa goalie on the right side to give the Moose a 2 - 0 lead.
  • Moose Goal: Burgess (3) from Eyssimont (7) and Gawanke (13)
  • The following shift, Eyssimont got called for roughing when he face-washed a Wild defender while on the forecheck.
  • Another good penalty kill by the Moose, as they made it very difficult for the Wild to gain the offensive zone with possession of the puck. Eyssimont got another chance as he came out of the box, but was denied on 2 shots from in tight.
  • A great long pass from Samberg found Egle at the Iowa blueline. After a surprising cut, Egle went between 2 defenders and released a quick shot that tested Kozlowski. Shortly after, Samberg was denied on a 1 timer when he jumped into the high slot to receive a pass.
  • Cormier called on to make a pad save on a wrap-around attempt from Iowa's Swaney.
  • Midway through the 2nd period, the Moose are outshooting the Wild 15-13 and leading on the scoreboard (2-0).
  • Iowa had a couple good chances from their 2nd line (one save/one broken up) and while Manitoba was able to keep the puck out of their net, they did take another penalty (Eyssimont - hooking).
  • The Moose were able to kill off the opening minute of powerplay time, but Oligny got nabbed for boarding. The Wild had 1:10 to do something with a 5 on 3 man advantage. Iowa was able to control the puck right off the face-off and after some quick passses, Boldy was able to rifle a shot to the top corner to make the game 2-1.
  • Wild Goal: Boldy (5) from Rossi (16) and Beckman (11) - PowerPlay
  • The Wild continued to control the puck on the PP until Nogier took his man down and Samberg was able to clear the puck. The Moose almost found Oligny for a breakaway as he came out of the penalty box, but the puck was just out of reach.
  • A turnover by Samberg in the neutral zone led to a rush by Iowa. A quick backcheck by Samberg allowed him to intercept the cross-ice pass and nulify the chance his turnover created.
  • The final minutes of the 2nd didn't result in scoring chances for either team and the period ended with Manitoba holding onto a 2-1 lead, while Iowa was outshooting Manitoba 21-18.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Maier (4), Eyssimont (3)

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3rd Period Recap:

  • 3rd line had a good shift, as Meireles set up Oligny in the slot for a shot and Burgess was denied on the rebound.
  • Poganski just missed the top corner after some nice passing on a 4 on 2 that was started by Heinola.
  • Smart passing decisions displayed by Samberg allowing an easy breakouts from the Moose zone.
  • Polei caused a turnover at the Iowa blueline that resulted in a chance, but he was hooked and that caused his shot to go wide. Moose get a 2nd PP chance to try to extend their lead.
  • 1st PP unit was able to get set up immediately this time and after some nice passing, Malott rang the post off a rebound. The 2nd unit also got some offensive zone time and Kozlowski made a blocker save off a Chisholm shot.
  • Teams returned back to even-strength as the period reached the midway point, with the Moose holding a slight edge in shots (26-24).
  • Manitoba playing fairly defensively in the final period, clogging up the neutral zone and forcing Iowa to dump the puck in.
  • A good shift by the 4th line caused the Wild some problems, with nice plays by Egle and Samberg aiding in keeping possession of the puck.
  • Iowa had a pushback shift and kept Manitoba in the defensive zone for a period of time. Nice save by Cormier on a wrap-around attempt.
  • Samberg saved a sure goal on a rebound, as he was able to get a stick on the shot towards a wide open net, blocking it.
  • With 3:41 to play in the 3rd, Iowa was starting to control the flow of play, looking for the equalizer.
  • The 1st line of Manitoba ended Iowa's period of dominance and spent a shift in the Iowa end.
  • With just over a minute to play, the Wild pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. They were able to spend the majority of that time in the Moose end, but they couldn't score. Poganski and Malott broke out on a 2 on 1, but Malott whiffed on his shot, killing the sure empty net goal.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Maier (6), Burgess (4), 4 players with 3
  • Final Score: MANITOBA 2 IOWA 1
  • Shots: MANITOBA 30 IOWA 30

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Final Thoughts:

  • Manitoba is taking way too many penalties the past few games, after being one of the least penalized teams in the AHL for the early part of the season.
  • One of the better games I've seen Samberg play. Strong defensively, smart passing, and jumping into the offense on a few occasions.
  • A pretty good debut for Cormier, though the Moose didn't give up as many high danger chances as they typically do.
  • Nogier looked pretty good as a winger, with the 4th line spending quite a few of their shifts in the O-zone.
  • Manitoba's PP failed to score on 2 attempts, while the PK allowed 1 goal against on 5 chances.
  • Update on Berdin...word is that he isn't quite back from his time on the Covid Protocols list, but should be good to go soon, possibly ready for the next game.
  • 3 Stars of the Game:
    • 1st: Evan Cormier - Manitoba (29 of 30 shots saved)
    • 2nd: Declan Chisholm - Manitoba (goal)
    • 3rd: Matt Boldy - Iowa (goal)
  • After playing Iowa again on Tuesday in Winnipeg, Manitoba will go on a 6 game road trip to Texas (2), Milwaukee, Grand Rapids (2), & Iowa during the period of Jan 7th to 19th.
  • Up Next: Iowa Wild @ Manitoba Moose on Tuesday, Jan 4th @ 7 PM CST.


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