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Manitoba Moose (17-9-1) @ Texas Stars (8-12-3-1) Recap - Jan 4th

Manitoba Moose (17-9-1) @ Texas Stars (8-12-3-1) Recap - Jan 4th

The Manitoba Moose continued their road trip with another game against the Texas Stars tonight. With the loss in the yesterday's game, the Stars now find themselves sitting in the basement of the Central Division.

Austin Poganski has taken the point lead for the Moose with 18 pts in 28 games, but the team continues to get scoring from all positions and lines. Coming into today's game, Manitoba has an AHL leading 13 players with double-digit points (9 forwards/4 defensemen), all of them between 18 and 12 pts. Cole Perfetti and David Gustafsson lead the way in terms of Pts per Game, with .88 and .70 respectively.

Manitoba was able to dress everyone who played last night, plus added Portage La Prairie-born defenseman Dean Stewart, and were able to go with a 11 forward/7 defensemen ratio. The Moose will be going with Evan Cormier for the 4th straight game and he has impressed so far: 2-0-0-1, 1.30 GAA, & .956 save percentage. See the full projected lineup below.

Texas will go with the exact same lineup, even going with Anton Khudobin for back-to-back games.

Moose Projected Line Up


Malott/L. Johnson/Poganski

Eyssimont/Meireles/Burgess

Egle/Maier/Jones

xxxxx/Pelton-Byce/I. Johnson

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Samberg/Nogier

Heinola/Kovacevic

Oligny/Lundmark

Stewart

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Cormier

Lavigne

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1st Period Recap:

  • Lost track of time and didn't turn on AHLTV until the 1st intermission. May go back and watch the 1st period later and if I do, I will add the recap later.
  • Moose Goal: Burgess (4) from Meireles (11)
  • Manitoba led the game 1 to 0, while outshooting Texas 14-11 in the opening frame.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Heinola/Maier/Burgess (2)

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2nd Period Recap:

  • The 1st line came out flying in the 2nd, as Malott rushed into the Stars zone and let a snapshot go from the mid-slot. The puck found a way to trickle through Khudobin and Luke Johnson was there to tap it in to give Manitoba a 2-0 lead just 31 seconds into the period.
  • Moose Goal: Luke Johnson (2) from Malott (7)
  • Heinola decked a Texas forward at the blueline and when the Stars McKenzie went after Heinola, Kovacevic jumped in for a wrestle. Maier dropped the gloves with Shea, but Manitoba ended up coming out of the melee with a 2 minute PP.
  • On a dump in, the puck deflected oddly off 1 of the glass dividers, resulting in a SH 2 on 1 for Texas. L. Johnson took away the pass, but Melnick was able to snipe one by Cormier to make the game 2 to 1 with 14 minutes remaining.
  • Stars Goal: Melnick (5) unassisted - Short Handed
  • Manitoba were able to get a couple of long-range shots with the remaining man advantage, but were unable to beat Khudobin.
  • The 1st line pressed to restore the 2 goal lead, setting up L. Johnson for a 1 timer from the slot. A big melee resulted as the Moose came in for the rebound, with both L. Johnson and Malott squaring off for fights. Malott's bout was a draw with minimal punches thrown, but Johnson & Rosburg threw a lot, with the Star player landing a few more. Both Johnson & Rosburg were ejected due to their fight being the 2nd altercation during 1 play.
  • At the midway point of the period, things were getting fairly physical and McKenzie ran Lundmark into the boards, causing Kovacevic to jump in once again, this time dropping the gloves. Shots were 21-14 for the Moose and they were heading to a PP due to Texas' late hit.
  • Manitoba were able to control the puck early in the PP, setting up Meireles up for a 1 timer. He didn't get all of it and the Stars' goalie was able to come across and make the save. Just prior to the penalty being over, Heinola rifled a low slapshot through traffic that Khudobin barely got a toe on. Two Moose were there for the rebound, but neither could manage a shot.
  • An intercepted pass by Eyssimont in the neutral zone allowed him to skate in on a 2 on 2, testing the Texas tender with a quick shot. Yet another scrum after the whistle, as Khudobin bobbled the initial shot and Manitoba crashed the net.
  • With 5 minutes left in the 2nd, Samberg got called for a phantom interference call, sending the Moose PK out for the first time of the game.
  • Texas was able to control the puck in Manitoba's zone for the 1st minute of PP time, but only managed 1 long-range shot on net. However, Oligny took a cross-checking penalty and Texas had a minute long 5 on 3. Maier won the draw, allowing the Moose to clear the puck briefly. They were able to break up a couple of rushes at the blueline before the Stars were able to get set up. After a cross-ice pass from high to low, Louis was able to rifle a 1 timer into the net. Samberg had stepped out of the box before the goal was scored, so teams were back to even strength with 3 minutes left.
  • Stars Goal: Louis (7) from Harley (8) and Gleason (10) - PowerPlay
  • A 3 on 2 by the 2nd line almost got the Moose the lead again, but Eyssimont's shot just sailed wide.
  • With 12 seconds remaining, Maier took a tripping penalty in the neutral zone to give the Stars a PP chance to open the 3rd period. Shots were 24 to 18 for Manitoba and the game was knotted up 2-2 after 2.
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Eyssimont/Heinola/L. Johnson/Maier (3)

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3rd Period Recap:

  • Texas started off the 3rd with a man advantage for almost a full 2 minutes. Manitoba kept them out for the opening seconds, but eventually the Stars were able to get set up. A nice pass from the side of the net found an open Texas player in the slot, but a fantastic save by Cormier robbed them of a sure goal. However, the Moose were unable to clear the zone and eventually a long shot found a way through the bodies in front and over Cormier's shoulder. Texas took their 1st lead of the game, as they go up 3 to 2 with 18:25 to play.
  • Stars Goal: Louis (8) from Harley (9) and L'Esperance (5) - PowerPlay
  • A few minutes later, Texas was once again on the attack. A 3 on 2 allowed the Stars to set up a 1 timer that Cormier was able to blocker to the corner.
  • Eyssimont used his speed to dangle a Texas d-man, losing control of the puck & getting it back, but couldn't jam it through Khudobin's legs.
  • The 1st line (with Maier replacing L. Johnson) had the first good cycle shift of the 3rd period. After a bit of zone time, Poganski set up Maier for a mid-range shot.
  • A face-off win in the Stars zone led to a cross-ice pass along the blueline that Lundmark hammered on net. Khudobin was able to see it and got a shoulder on the puck.
  • Egle flew in on the forecheck, causing some problems and took a high-stick to send Manitoba to a PP.
  • Meireles was able to win the face-off and the Moose were able to get set up. Good pressure by the penalty killers kept the PP from getting any quality looks before they were able to ice the puck. After Texas brought the puck into their own end to kill some time, they tried a long stretch pass to get another SH goal. However, Heinola intercepted the pass in the neutral zone, skating it in along the left wing before sending a pass to the front of the net. Isaac Johnson had found some space about 4 feet in front of Khudobin and 1 timed a low shot that found twine, tying the game at 3 with 11 minutes to play.
  • Moose Goal: Isaac Johnson (1) from Heinola (14) - PowerPlay
  • Midway point of the 3rd period and the Moose were leading in shots (28-22) and they were looking for more. Samberg skated a puck along the left boards, cutting towards the middle of the ice as he entered the Stars end. He dropped a pass between his legs to Maier, who was entering the zone with speed. Maier only took a few steps before releasing a wristshot through the defender in front of him, beating Khudobin cleanly to give Manitoba the 4-3 lead with 9 & a half minutes remaining.
  • Moose Goal: Maier (8) from Samberg (5)
  • The Stars had a pushback shift, but 2 blocks by Heinola kept Cormier from having to make any saves.
  • Jones almost deflected the puck by the Texas tender on a long-range shot from Egle, but it trickled wide.
  • Lundmark made a good defensive play on a 1 on 1 with the speedy Dellandrea, doing enough to get in the way, but not taking a penalty. Shortly after, Texas solidly rings the post on a shot from the high face-off circle.
  • Samberg kept a puck in at the blueline and rifled a slapshot quickly on net. Khudobin was able to kick it out, but a huge rebound awaited Poganski. However, he was absolutely tackled and was unable to get a shot off (one of many highly questionable non-calls by today's refs).
  • Manitoba followed up with a couple good shifts in the Stars end, bringing the clock down to 3 minutes. Texas briefly pulled their goalie, but Manitoba quickly got the puck out resulting in a face-off in the Stars end.
  • The Moose clogged up the neutral zone, resulting in wasted time and even a Texas icing call. Egle almost took advantage of that, as he and I. Johnson ragged the puck for a while before setting up a shot from the mid-slot.
  • Texas finally got the extra attacker for the last minute and a half. Samberg blocked 2 shot attempts, but the 2nd bounced right to Louis. He was able to lift the puck into the top corner to tie the game with his hat-trick goal (another tackle that stopped Manitoba from clearing the puck wasn't called).
  • Stars Goal: Louis (9) from Harley (10) and Gleason (11) -Extra Attacker
  • Not much happened in the last minute of play until the Moose made a rush with seconds remaining. Jones skated the puck along the right boards and chipped the puck into the O-zone as he took a hit at the blueline. I. Johnson jumped onto the puck and quickly released a shot on net. Khudobin had to stretch to make a pad save, kicking a rebound out to the left boards. Egle collected the puck, spinning and sent a shot towards the net as the seconds ticked away. A deflection off someone in front sent the puck by the Texas goaltender with .5 seconds left to give Manitoba the 5-4 victory.
  • Moose Goal: Egle (2) unassisted
  • Manitoba Shot Leaders: Maier (5), Eyssimont (4), Lundmark/Heinola/I & L Johnson (3)
  • Final Score: MANITOBA 5 TEXAS 4
  • Shots: MANITOBA 33 TEXAS 25

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Final Thoughts:

  • While I didn't watch the opening period (only 1 too many men penalty), the refs were absolutely awful in this one. For fans of playoff reffing, guessing they would have been pretty happy.
  • 4 scraps in the 2nd period, as this game got pretty fiesty in that period.
  • Less impressive numbers for Cormier in this game (21 of 25 saved), but he did make some absolutely huge saves. 3 of the 4 goals against were when Texas had a man advantage.
  • Texas' Anthony Louis and Thomas Harley pick up 3 points each in this game, 2 out of 3 on PP 1 timers.
  • Probably not very smart for Luke Johnson to get into that fight that made it an automatic ejection. Perhaps he didn't know about the rule, I certainly didn't.
  • 3 Stars of the Game:
    • 1st: Haralds Egle - Manitoba (goal - game winner)
    • 2nd: Anthony Louis - Texas (hatty)
    • 3rd: Cole Maier - Manitoba (goal)
  • The Moose continue to be hot on this road trip, going 3-0-0-1 so far with 4 more games to go.
  • Up Next: Manitoba Moose @ Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday, Jan 12th @ 7 PM CST.

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