The Manitoba Moose began their California road trip this week, heading out west to play 4 games against the Stockton Heat and Bakersfield Condors.
Last Wednesday, the Moose opened the road trip in Bakersfield against the Condors, the top affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers. The Moose would get off to a good start, opening up a 2-0 second period thanks to Cameron Schilling and Brody Sutter, who would both score their first goals as members of the Moose. A late second period goal by Braden Christoffer tilted the momentum in favour of the Condors, who would add 4 more in the third en route to a 5-2 win. Eric Comrie allowed 4 goals on 29 shots in the game, including 3 on 10 shots in the 3rd period. The loss snapped a 4 game (2-0-2) point streak for the Moose.
On Friday, the Moose headed north to Stockton to face the Heat, the top affiliate of the Calgary Flames. The Moose would get off to another good start, going ahead late in the first period on a goal by Patrice Cormier, his 3rd of the season. It was the 10th time in 11 games to start the season that the Moose scored the opening goal of the game. The Moose would extend their lead in the second period. Sami Niku would score his first goal in the American Hockey League, a powerplay goal that would give the Moose a 2-0 lead.
Stockton would score just over a minute into the 3rd period to make it 2-1, and the Moose found themselves defending the lead, being outshot 22-9 in the 3rd period. Just over 6 minutes later, Jack Roslovic scored his 5th of the season to regain the 2 goal lead, set up by Nic Petan, who picked up his second assist of the game. An empty netter by 2016 6th round pick Mason Appleton would ice away a 4-1 Moose win, their first win in Stockton in 3 tries since returning to the AHL. Eric Comrie was brilliant in the win, stopping 40 of 41 shots.
On Saturday, the Moose looked to avenge the mid-week loss by returning to Bakersfield to face the Condors for the second time. This time, the Moose would give up the game’s opening goal, with former 1st round pick Ty Rattie getting the Condors in front just over 11 minutes in. The Moose would tie the game late in the second period, with Cam Maclise scoring his first goal in 10 games to tie the score at 1 heading to the 3rd period.
After an uneventful 3rd period, with only 1 powerplay opportunity for the Moose, the game headed to overtime tied at 1. The Moose would get the extra point at 1:42 of overtime, with Cameron Schilling scoring for the 2nd straight game against Bakersfield to give the Moose a 2-1 win. Michael Hutchinson made his first start of the road trip, and stopped 31 of 32 shots for his 3rd win in 5 starts.
Last night, the Moose headed back up the road to Stockton for a second matchup against the Heat. For the second straight game, the Moose would give up the first goal of the game, and ended the first period down 1-0. In the second period, just after a Moose powerplay ended, Patrice Cormier would tie the game at 1 with his 4th goal of the season, and second of the road trip. The score would stay that way until the midway point of the 3rd period. The Moose would score twice in 42 seconds. First, Jack Roslovic would score his team leading 6th of the year at the 10:44 mark, and then Mike Sgarbossa would score his 5th of the year at 11:26. Nic Petan would add an empty netter, his first of the season, to wrap up a 4-1 victory, and move the Moose to 3-1 on the road trip. Eric Comrie was great again, making 35 saves in the victory.
G Eric Comrie was excellent in his 3 starts this week, posting a .944 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average. On the season, Comrie has a 2.39 goals against average and a .924 save percentage, both career bests. He has faced the most shots on goal per game among goalies with at least 8 appearances on the season.
Central Division Standings
as of November 9th, 2017
The Moose finish the road trip Saturday and Sunday in San Jose against the San Jose Barracuda. Saturday’s game starts at 3:15 PM, and Sunday’s game starts at 5:00 PM. Both games are available on moosehockey.com, and Saturday’s game is also available on TSN 1290.