The Manitoba Moose opened up the home portion of the 2017-18 season last weekend with a pair of games against the Cleveland Monsters, the top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
On Friday night, the Moose started off strong, outshooting the Monsters 19-7 in the first period, and opening the scoring on a goal by Julian Melchiori. However, the Monsters returned the favour in the second period, outshooting the Jets 18-6, and scoring 3 goals, including 2 in 1:22 late in the second to take a 3-2 lead to the third period.
The Moose would tie the game early in the third period. JC Lipon would pick up the puck in his own zone and make a beautiful lead pass to Patrice Cormier. The captain would make a sweet move on the breakaway for his first goal of the season. However, the Monsters would respond just over 5 minutes later, when Joe Pendenza would score his second of the night off of a Moose turnover in the neutral zone. Pendenza came in on a 2 on 1 and snapped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Michael Hutchinson.
The Moose would push late in the third, but could not find the equalizer, and dropped their first home game of the season. Hutchinson made 29 saves on 33 shots, and the Moose went 0/4 on the powerplay in Game 1.
After having a day off to practice on Saturday, the Moose and Monsters played the rematch on Sunday afternoon. The Moose would make a couple of lineup changes from the game on Friday, and it was one of the new faces in the lineup that got the Moose off on the right foot. Jansen Harkins would take a pass from Buddy Robinson off a Monsters turnover, and beat Monsters goalie Matiss Kivleniks to give the Moose the lead just four minutes in.
In the second period, the Moose and Monsters would trade goals, with top prospect Kyle Connor scoring his third goal in 4 games, a powerplay goal that gave the Moose a 2-1 lead after 2 periods. In the third, the Moose were able to lock the game down after Brendan Lemieux scored just under a minute into the third to extend the Moose lead to 3-1. The Monsters would push back to try and close the gap, but with their net empty, Lemieux would get a breakaway on an empty net, and was interfered with, resulting in an awarded goal to Lemieux, to ice away a 4-1 Moose win.
Cleveland Monsters: 4 – Manitoba Moose: 3
October 13 @ Winnipeg, MB
|1||16:40||MB||Julian Melchiori (1)||Cam Maclise (1)||Brody Sutter (1)||MB 1 – 0 CLE|
|2||2:04||CLE||Calvin Thurkauf (1)||MB 1 – 1 CLE|
|2||15:08||CLE||Carter Camper (1)||Hayden Hodgson (1)||John Mitchell (1)||PP||MB 1 – 2 CLE|
|2||15:41||MB||Jack Roslovic (2)||Kyle Connor (2)||Sami Niku (3)||MB 2 – 2 CLE|
|2||16:30||CLE||Joe Pendenza (1)||John Ramage (1)||Cameron Gaunce (1)||MB 2 – 3 CLE|
|3||1:42||MB||Patrice Cormier (1)||JC Lipon (1)||Kirill Gotovets (1)||MB 3 – 3 CLE|
|3||6:54||CLE||Joe Pendenza (2)||Miles Koules (1)||MB 3 – 4 CLE|
Cleveland Monsters: 1 – Manitoba Moose: 4
October 15 @ Winnipeg, MB
|1||4:01||MB||Jansen Harkins (1)||Buddy Robinson (2)||MB 1 – 0 CLE|
|2||9:57||CLE||John Mitchell (1)||MB 1 – 1 CLE|
|2||15:20||MB||Kyle Connor (3)||Chase De Leo (2)||Jack Roslovic (3)||PP||MB 2 – 1 CLE|
|3||0:46||MB||Brendan Lemieux (2)||Michael Spacek (2)||Sami Niku (4)||PP||MB 3 – 1 CLE|
|3||18:00||MB||Brendan Lemieux (3)||EN||MB 4 – 1 CLE|
The Moose head to Des Moines, Iowa this weekend to take on the Iowa Wild (an affiliate of the Minnesota Wild) on Friday and Saturday night. Both games are 7:00 PM starts, and can be heard on moosehockey.com. Saturday’s game can also be heard on TSN 1290.