Manitoba Moose (16-9-1) @ Iowa Wild (11-11-2-2) Recap - Jan 4th
The Manitoba Moose will be playing tonight against the Iowa Wild, in what will be their last home game until January 22nd. The Moose currently sit comfortably in 2nd place in the AHL Central Division, while the Wild have dropped into a tie for 4th since losing their last game to Manitoba. The Jets' AHL affiliate will look to continue their strong play at home (10-2), where they currently have outscored opponents 40 to 28.
Some interesting stats I came across are that Moose defensemen have accounted for an impressive 25% of the team's goals this season, that LD Ville Heinola and LW Mikey Eyssimont lead the team in shots on net (68), and Manitoba has averaged the sixth-fewest penalty minutes per game (11.35) in the AHL.
The Moose have added another Winnipeg-born goalie (Jeremy Link) to be the backup to Evan Cormier for tonight's game. Coach Morrison is going with an ultra-rare 10 forward/8 defensemen ratio with RD Simon Lundmark drawing into the lineup and LW Thomas Caron (Covid Protocol) heading out. Check out the projected lines below.
The Iowa Wild have lost 2 of their better players (Marco Rossi & Matt Boldy) due to a call up from Minnesota, so they will be a bit short-handed tonight. Interestingly, Rossi, who was drafted one spot ahead of Perfetti, is practicing as the center on the 2nd line with the NHL's Wild. Will be interesting to see if they actually play him there for an NHL game, but they don't play until Thursday so things may change before then.
For tonight's match, Iowa has tapped Trevin Kozlowski to start again in net and are hoping he can lead them to their first win of 2022.
Moose Projected Line Up
1st Period Recap:
- Neither team could get much done in the opening 3 minutes, but Iowa got a PP chance when Maier was caught for hooking.
- Manitoba did a good job while short-handed, limiting Iowa to approximately 30 seconds of zone time and no shots against. With less than 15 seconds left on the PP, the Wild took a hooking penalty (Turgeon) of their own, sending the teams to a really brief 4 on 4.
- Iowa controlled the play initially and forced Cormier to make a save on a shot from the slot in the early parts of the PK. The Moose went back the other way, with Heinola and Malott passing it back & forth, eventually giving Malott some space in the slot. He made no mistake and put the puck up and over Kozlowski's glove to give Manitoba a 1-0 lead just 6 minutes into the 1st.
- Moose Goal: Malott (8) from Heinola (13) & Lundmark (2) - PowerPlay
- Eyssimont led a counter-attack and sped into the Iowa end. His backhand shot missed the net, but Isaac Johnson picked up the deflection off the back boards and almost stuffed it by the Wild keeper.
- After a strong opening 10 minutes, the Moose are leading the shot count (6-2) thanks in large part to great defensive play.
- Samberg pinched in on offense, skating the puck along the left boards before sending a pass towards the front of the net that Meireles deflected, but Kozlowski was there to make a pad save.
- Eyssimont yet again used his speed to go around the Wild's RD and tried to bring the puck to his forehand as he cut to the net, but was forced to shoot before he could get the puck beyond the goalie's pad.
- A Heinola turnover in the defensive end led to a Iowa chance, but the Wild player's deflection just went wide of the net.
- With 6 minutes to play, a scrum ensued behind the play with at least 3 "couples" dancing with eachother. However, only Manitoba's Oligny (cross-check) was sent to the sin bin to give Iowa another PP opportunity.
- While Iowa was able to get set up early in the man advantage, Manitoba kept the puck to the outside. Jones made a nice play to break up a pass and led a SH 2 on 1, but the d-man took away the passing lane and the goaltender was able to handle Jones' shot. The Moose kept the Wild out of the offensive zone for the remainder of the PP and the teams returned to full strength.
- Shortly after the PP ended, a shot through traffic from the point deflected off 2 Iowa players and found its way into the net to tie the game with just under 4 minutes to play.
- Wild Goal: McLeod (2) from Czuczman (2) and Sucese (2)
- In the last minute of play, Samberg jumped into a rush being led by Polei. The big winger back-handed a nice float pass to find Samberg and he let a 1 timer go. Kozlowski flew across the net and was able to take the puck off his shoulder, deflecting it out of play.
- The first period ended with the teams tied at 1, but Manitoba controlling the play and shots (14-7).
- Manitoba Shot Leaders: Eyssimont (4), Samberg/Jones (2)
2nd Period Recap:
- Iowa opened up the 2nd with 2 strong shifts, pinning Manitoba in their own end. Cormier had to make 2 big saves, a blocker save on a snapshot from the mid-slot and a pad save on a 1 timer from the point, as the Moose are trapped for almost 2 minutes.
- Heinola out-raced & out-muscled for a loose puck in the neutral zone, giving Shaw a partial breakaway, but he couldn't beat Cormier with Heinola draped over his back.
- The Moose failed to clear their end of 3 occasions and that eventually led to a wrist shot from the point getting deflected between Cormier's legs to give Iowa a 2 - 1 lead with 15 minutes left.
- Wild Goal: Breckman (5) from Zmolek (2)
- Gawanke jumped into a rush and carried the puck into the Wild end. After a move, he snapped a shot through the defender's legs, but Kozlowski was able to kick the puck out. Gawanke almost corraled the rebound, but was tied up before he could gain control of the puck.
- Iowa continued to forecheck the Moose defenders, allowing them to force another turnover. Cormier made to big saves, a wrist shot from the low slot and the ensuing rebound, to keep Manitoba within 1.
- The Moose 2nd line spent a shift in the Wild zone, with Meireles getting stopped on a deflection of an Oligny shot.
- As we reached the midway point of the period, Manitoba was leading in shots (17-15), but traling by a goal.
- Another good shift by the 2nd line and Meireles found a rebound on a Gawanke point shot, but Meireles' shot was blocked by a d-man with the Wild goalie down & out.
- After yet another defensive zone exit pass from Manitoba failed (Jones), Iowa had a glorious chance on a 2 on 1. Cormier stood his ground, stopping the initial shot and McLeod's attempt to jam the rebound in.
- Chisholm led a 3 on 2 rush for the Moose and he saucered a backhand pass to the midslot, finding I. Johnson for a wrist shot that made Kozlowski react quickly to make the glove save.
- Heinola showed some strength, throwing 6'2" 216 lbs McLeod to the ice during a battle along the boards.
- Polei made a nice play as he brushed a defender off to get a backhand from in tight, resulting in a huge rebound. Gawanke skated on to the loose puck, but his snapshot couldn't find a way past the goalie.
- Another defensive turnover led to a shot from prime real estate for the Wild, but Chisholm was there to put his body on the line to kill the chance.
- The 2nd frame ended with Iowa leading 2 - 1, yet Manitoba was still outshooting them (24-20). The Wild out-hustled the Moose for the majority of the 2nd period, forcing bad passes on Manitoba's breakout attempts. However, Manitoba did show signs of life again in the latter part of the period, so we'll see if they have a comeback in them.
- Manitoba Shot Leaders: Eyssimont (5), Gawanke (3), & 5 players with 2
3rd Period Recap:
- Manitoba opened up the 3rd period with two good shifts by the 3rd and 2nd lines. Meireles had the best chance, but was unable to jam a rebound past the tender's pads.
- McLeod ran Gawanke into the boards and Eyssimont jumped in for a fight. That showed spunk, but probably wasn't the best decision as he just hung on and took a bunch of punches from a heavy-weight. Eyssimont went to the dressing room for repairs and I will keep an eye on whether he returns or not.
- Nice pinch along the boards by Lundmark led to some prolonged offensive zone time for the Moose.
- After Polei bodychecked a Wild player, Beraldo started punching Polei while he was wrestling with another Wild player. Polei realized he was in a fight and unloaded quite a few punches to Beraldo's head. He missed a potential KO with an upper cut that just missed and ended up breaking Beraldo's visor. Iowa got an extra penalty once the dust settled, giving Manitoba a big chance to tie the game.
- Lundmark playing the point with Heinola on the 1st PP unit and they are able to control the puck for the opening minute. Multiple chances but they were all blocked. Iowa failed to clear when they had the opportunity, allowing Manitoba to stay in the O-zone for the entire 2 minutes, but all shots on goal were blocked by defenders.
- As we reached the middle of the 3rd, Manitoba was totally controlling the flow of play, outshooting Iowa 32-20. The Wild hadn't managed a shot on goal in the first 10 minutes, as they were content to stay back and defend.
- A big bodycheck by Poganski in the neutral zone allowed Meireles to break away the other way. He passed it to Eyssimont along the left boards as they entered the Wild end. The speedy Eyssimont seemed to be fine after losing his fight and found Kovacevic jumping into the slot. A quick shot from the Moose d-man beat Kozlowski on the right side, above his butterflied pad to tie the game with 9:20 to play.
- Moose Goal: Kovacevic (6) from Eyssimont (8) and Meireles (9)
- Manitoba continued to control play as they pushed for the go ahead goal. With just over 5 minutes to play, Iowa has yet to record a shot on net in the 3rd.
- The Wild were finally able to spend a shift in the Moose end. Cormier came up big on their first shot, stopping the initial shot and then another Wild player found the rebound but his shot hit the side of the net.
- With 1:44 to go in the 3rd, Manitoba has outshot Iowa 10 to 1 in the period. Great bounce-back period after being out-worked in the middle frame.
- The Moose were able to cycle the puck for the final time, but the best shot they managed was from long-range. Manitoba was outshooting Iowa 35-21 after their dominance of the 3rd period.
- Manitoba Shot Leaders: Gawanke/Eyssimont (5)
- The Wild were able to control the puck initially, but the Moose were able to gain possession fairly quickly. Jones and Heinola almost broke in on a 2 on 1, but Jones stumbled and a Wild player was able to get back into the play.
- Malott, Maier, & Gawanke put on huge pressure with a cycle resulting in a couple chances, but they were blocked/saved.
- Iowa had their best chance of the game when he undressed Gawanke and made a great cut back to try to jam the puck in short side. Cormier managed to keep his goalstick back and batted the shot away before falling on the puck.
- Eyssimont was sprung on a breakaway, but his backhand failed to hit the net.
- The Wild's Beckman was denied by Cormier on a 2 on 1, as Meireles took away the pass and forcing the shot.
- Manitoba Shot Leaders: Eyssimont (6), Gawanke (5)
- Shots: MANITOBA 37 IOWA 26
Shoot Out Recap:
- IOWA: Cramarossa denied by Cormier.
- MANITOBA: Eyssimont couldn't beat Kozlowski 5 hole.
- IOWA: Beckman made a nice move before ripping a backhanded to the top left corner.
- MANITOBA: Poganski tried to go to the backhand at the last second, but the Wild tender made the blocker save.
- IOWA: Rau sealed the win for the Wild when he slipped a nice backhand through Cormier's pads after a quick move.
- Final Score: IOWA 3 MANITOBA 2
- Covid not only impacting the hockey teams, but the referees as well. This game was officiated by only 1 ref and he wasn't even one of the 2 refs initially scheduled for tonight. If you're old enough, you know this system has been used in the past, but I certainly felt quite a few penalties were missed including an obvious too many men call.
- The Iowa Wild captain, Winnipeg-born Cody McLeod, has scored both of his goals this season against the Manitoba Moose. The Wild also played tonight's game with only 17 skaters.
- Jeff Malott took over the Moose goal scoring lead with his 8th of the season, one more goal than Maier & Gustafsson.
- Cormier played pretty well in his 2nd game, with the 2 non-shootout goals against coming on deflections.
- Manitoba may feel disappointed about not getting 2 pts after totally dominating the 3rd period, but that is what you get when you take the 2nd period off.
- 3 Stars of the Game:
- 1st: Trevin Kozlowski - Iowa (35 of 37 saved)
- 2nd: Mikey Eyssimont - Manitoba (assist)
- 3rd: Evan Cormier - Manitoba (24 of 26 saved)
- The Moose will start a 6 game road trip on Friday and hopefully Berdin will be ready to return by then. They could also use Suess back from the Jets, as they are running low on forwards.
- Up Next: Manitoba Moose @ Texas Stars on Friday, Jan 7th @ 7 PM CST.