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Moose Moment: A Rocky Start to the New Year

The Moose started 2018 with their toughest stretch of 4 results since the end of October, winning just 1 out of 4 games, and picking up only 4 of the 8 available points.

Last Friday, the Moose saw their six game road winning streak snapped, losing 4-3 in overtime against the Chicago Wolves.  Buddy Robinson scored a hat trick in the game, moving into the team lead in goals with 16 on the year.  His hat trick included 2 goals in the final 3:18 of the game, including the game tying goal on the powerplay with 2 seconds remaining.  However, former Red Wing draft pick Teemu Pulkkinen won the game 49 seconds into overtime.  Michael Hutchinson stopped 30 of 34 shots in the game, dropping his record to 14-2-3.

The next night, the Moose headed to Des Moines for their 3rd road meeting of the year with the Iowa Wild.  The Moose extended their road point streak to 8 games with a 4-3 win.  The Moose got goals from Patrice Cormier (his 15th), Sami Niku (6th), Brody Sutter (2nd), and Michael Spacek (6th) in the win, while Mason Appleton added 2 assists, and Nic Petan extended his point streak to 9 games in the win.  Eric Comrie, making his first start since being injured on December 15th in Belleville, stopped 29 of 32 shots, improving to 10-4-1 on the season.

On Monday, the Moose returned home to face the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins.  A tight matchup saw the Moose pick up a point for the fourth straight game to start the new year, but they could not pick up a second straight win, losing 3-2 in overtime.  After being held off the scoresheet for the first 57 minutes, the Moose scored twice in under a minute to tie the game late in the third.  Goals were scored by Cam Schilling (his 5th of the year) and Nic Petan (his 8th).  Second year pro Filip Hronek scored the overtime winner to give the Griffins the win.  Michael Hutchinson stopped 30 of 33 shots in the loss, dropping to 14-2-4 on the season.  “Right now, we’re just a little bit off and we need to come back on track” said coach Pascal Vincent after the loss, the 3rd loss in the last 5 games (2-1-2 in that stretch).

On Wednesday, the Moose finished their two game series against the Griffins.  Unlike the game on Monday, the Griffins dominated the game from start to finish, handing the Moose a 5-1 loss.  Buddy Robinson scored the only goal of the game for Manitoba, recording his 17th goal of the season.  His 17 goals matches a career high, set last year between Binghamton and San Jose.  Mason Appleton had an assist on the lone Moose goal, his 4th point in the last 3 games after not recording a point in the prior 3 games.  Eric Comrie had a rough night, stopping only 26 of 31 shots in the loss, and falling to 10-5-1 on the season.

Top Performer

Photo Credit: Jonathan Kozub | Moose Hockey

F Nic Petan, a Jets 2013 2nd round pick, had 1 goal and 3 assists in the 4 games this week.  Petan, who is in his 3rd pro season this year, is 2 points off of his career high of 32, set in the 2015-16 season.  He has 8 goals and 22 assists for 30 points.  Petan also had a 10 game point streak snapped in the game on Wednesday against Grand Rapids.

News and Notes

  • On Saturday, F Jimmy Lodge was assigned to the Moose from Jacksonville (ECHL). Lodge had appeared in 30 games with the Icemen, recording 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points.  A Jets 2013 3rd round pick, Lodge has 11 goals and 24 points in 107 games with the Moose.
  • On Monday, the Jets recalled F Brendan Lemieux from the Moose for their road trip. In 24 AHL games this season, Lemieux has 9 goals and 15 assists for 24 points, while leading the team in penalty minutes with 73. This will be Lemieux’s second stint with the Jets this year.  In his previous stint, he appeared in 7 games, recording his 1st NHL goal, while having a +2 rating.
  • The Jets also reassigned D Tucker Poolman to the Moose. In 13 games with the Jets this season, the native of East Grand Forks, MN had 1 goal and a +3 rating.

Standings

Team GP W L OTL SOL PTS PT%
Manitoba 37 25 7 3 2 55 .743
Milwaukee 36 19 13 4 0 42 .583
Chicago 38 18 13 5 2 43 .566
Rockford 38 20 15 1 2 43 .566
Iowa 37 16 12 6 3 41 .554
Grand Rapids 39 18 16 1 4 41 .526
Cleveland 34 10 18 3 3 26 .382

As of January 11th, 2017

Up Next

The Moose continue a six game homestand this weekend when they take on the Iowa Wild, top affiliate of the Minnesota Wild.  Games are on Saturday and Sunday, both starting at 2:00 PM, and can be heard on moosehockey.com.