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Moose Moment: Rivals Facing Off

The Moose faced their arch rival Chicago Wolves this week for a pair of games this year.  After snapping a 4 game losing streak with a win against Milwaukee, the Moose looked to gain some space from their rivals in the Central Division standings.

On Saturday, the Moose welcomed back Eric Comrie into the lineup for the first time in almost three weeks.  Comrie proved why he was a 2016 AHL All-Star, pitching a 33 save shutout to lead the Moose to a 2-0 win.  The Moose got goals from two role players in the victory.  Cam Maclise scored his fifth goal of the season to open the scoring, and Francis Beauvillier added his second goal of the year in the victory. Mason Appleton had an assist on Maclise’s goal, giving him 51 points on the season, which set a new Moose franchise rookie record for points in a season.

On Sunday, the Moose looked to complete the series sweep against the Wolves, but the Wolves had other ideas, handing the Moose a 5-2 loss. The Moose special teams units struggled, which was the difference in the game. TJ Tynan scored a shorthanded goal to make it 2-0 Chicago, while Beau Bennett and Teemu Pulkkinen scored power play goals for the Wolves. The bright spot for the Moose was Brendan Lemieux, who scored both Moose goals, giving him a career high 17 goals on the season in just 36 games. After being perfect in Saturday’s game, Eric Comrie had a rough outing on Sunday, giving up five goals on 33 shots in the loss. Comrie now has a 16-9-2 record, with a 2.54 GAA and a .921 SV% on the season.

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They Said It

“Penalties happen and the momentum changes and we just have to figure out a way to come out of that slump that we have when a few minutes don’t go our way. We just need to focus here in this coming week and find out what we need to do to get ourselves even keeled, which is important moving forward.”

– Moose forward Brody Sutter after Sunday’s 5-2 loss

Prospect Profile

Moose rookie and 2015 fourth round pick Michael Spacek has had a solid first professional season in North America.  After scoring 48 goals and 139 points in two seasons in Red Deer of the Western Hockey League, Spacek has nine goals and 24 points in 50 games this season.  Spacek has playoff experience from the WHL, with seven goals and 25 points in 24 career WHL playoff games.

News and Notes

  • After the Jets activity at the NHL Trade Deadline, the Moose will have reinforcements to bolster their lineup for the stretch drive. The Jets reassigned F Nic Petan and D Tucker Poolman to the Moose on Monday. Petan has 12 goals and 41 points in 39 AHL games this season, while Poolman has one goal and six points in 14 AHL games.
  • The Moose special teams have struggled since the AHL All-Star Game. In 12 games since the All-Star Weekend, the Moose powerplay is operating at just 15.9% (7/44), while the penalty kill is operating at 81.4% (35/43).  The Moose powerplay remains second in the AHL at 21.7% (51/235), while the penalty kill has dropped to sixth in the AHL at 85.3% (214/251).

Standings

Team GP W L OTL SOL PTS PT%
Manitoba 56 34 15 4 3 75 .670
Chicago 56 30 18 6 2 68 .607
Grand Rapids 58 31 20 1 6 69 .595
Iowa 54 26 17 7 4 63 .583
Rockford 58 28 24 3 3 62 .534
Milwaukee 56 27 24 4 1 59 .527
Cleveland 54 18 29 4 3 43 .398

Scouting the Opposition

The Moose continue a stretch of 17 straight games inside the Central Division, hosting the Iowa Wild this weekend, before starting a 7 game road trip in Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Iowa Wild

Current Record: 26-17-7-4 (63 points), fourth in Central Division

Last Game: February 25 – 3-2 shootout loss at Grand Rapids

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Last 10 Games: 5-4-0-1

Road Record: 11-8-4-3

Top Scorer: Cal O’Reilly – 53 GP, 9 G, 35 A, 44 PTS

Top Goalie: Niklas Svedberg – 30 GP, 16-10-4, 2.40 GAA, .922 SV%

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Power Play: 45 PPG / 234 PPA = 19.2% (Sixth in AHL)

Penalty Kill: 31 PPGA / 211 TSH = 85.3% (Tied for 5th in AHL)

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Milwaukee Admirals

Current Record: 27-24-4-1 (59 points), 6th in Central Division

Last Game: March second – 4-1 win vs Rockford

Last 10 Games: 5-4-0-1

Home Record: 12-11-2-1

Top Scorer: Emil Pettersson – 52 GP, 12 G, 25 A, 37 PTS

Top Goalie: Anders Lindback – 43 GP, 23-16-4, 2.94 GAA, .906 SV%

Power Play: 44 PPG / 235 PPA = 18.7% (10th in AHL)

Penalty Kill: 41 PPGA / 239 TSH = 82.8% (17th in AHL)

All stats and standings as of March 3, 2017

  • Joe hannah

    This is interesting. With regards to the PK – the only changes really have been on goal tending in the last 12 games and the impact having Hutch in goal for a period made with in particular to the PK……..Your goalie is your best PKer….