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Moose Moment: Deep in the Heart of Texas

The Moose headed south to the Lone Star State for 4 games this past week.  After playing 17 straight games inside the Central Division, the Moose were looking to open some space ahead of the 2nd place Chicago Wolves.

The trip opened last Wednesday in Austin against the Texas Stars, the top affiliate of the Dallas Stars.  After giving up a powerplay goal just under 3 minutes into the game, it appeared that it could be a long night for the Moose to start the trip.  However, the Moose would get 3 goals from defensemen, and rookie Brett Welychka scored his first pro goal, leading the Moose to a 6-3 win.  Patrice Cormier continued to build on a career high goal scoring season, hitting the 20 goal mark for the 1st time in his AHL career.  JC Lipon added his 12th goal of the season in the win, and Jamie Phillips made 22 saves in the win.

On Friday, the Moose headed further South to San Antonio to face the Rampage.  The Moose were outshot 25-11 through the first 2 periods, and never led until the end of the game, but Mason Appleton tied the game with 1:07 left in regulation, and Nic Petan’s 14th goal of the season won the game in overtime for the Moose, a 3-2 overtime win.  Patrice Cormier added his career high 21st goal of the season in the win.  Jamie Phillips gave up just 2 goals on 34 shots in the win.  The win guaranteed the Moose an above .500 season for the first time since returning in 2015-16.

The next night, the Moose returned to Austin for the rematch against the Texas Stars.  For the second straight game in Austin, the Moose gave up a goal inside the first 3 minutes of the game, gave up a second goal in the first minute of the 2nd period to fall behind 2-0, and never recovered, suffering a 6-4 loss.  Four different Moose found the scoresheet in the losing cause.  Michael Spacek, JC Lipon, and Sami Niku each scored their 13th goals of the season, while Charles-David Beaudoin scored his 1st of the year.  Jamie Phillips gave up 3 goals on just 9 shots, leading to Colton Phinney making his Moose debut in relief.  Phinney gave up 3 goals on 15 shots in the 32 minutes he played.

The road trip finished on Tuesday night, as the Moose finished their 4 game season series against the San Antonio Rampage.  The Moose were looking to complete the season series sweep, having won both games in Winnipeg earlier in the year.  For the 4th straight game on the road trip, the Moose gave up the opening goal of the game, and would fall behind 3-0 before Michael Spacek’s 14th goal of the season got the Moose on the board.  Buddy Robinson would add his team high 24th goal of the season to make it 3-2, but that is as close as the Moose would get, as they would take a 4-2 loss to close the road trip.  Jamie Phillips gave up 3 goals on 15 shots in the loss.

Prospect Profile

Credit: Jonathan Kozub | Moose Hockey

With both Eric Comrie and Michael Hutchinson up with the Jets, second year pro and Jets 2012 7th round pick Jamie Phillips has taken over the net for the Moose.  Phillips went 2-2 on the most recent 4 game road trip, and for the year, Phillips has a 5-5-1 record, with a 2.85 GAA and .911 SV%.

News and Notes

  • The Moose penalty kill gave up 5 goals on 21 penalty kill attempts on the road trip (76.2% efficiency), while the power play scored 3 times on 15 power play attempts (20.0% efficiency). The Moose have the AHL’s number 1 powerplay, operating at 22.1% for the season (60/272), while ranking 5th on the penalty kill at 84.7%.  The concerning stat is that only Syracuse and Springfield have been shorthanded more times this season than the 301 times the Moose have been shorthanded.

Standings

Team GP W L OTL SOL PTS PT%
Manitoba 65 38 19 4 4 84 .646
Chicago 64 35 20 7 2 79 .617
Iowa 64 30 20 9 5 74 .578
Grand Rapids 65 34 24 1 6 75 .577
Rockford 65 33 24 4 4 74 .569
Milwaukee 65 32 28 4 1 69 .531
Cleveland 63 21 33 6 3 51 .405

As of March 21st, 2018

Up Next

The Moose begin their final homestand of the season, an 8 game stretch with a pair of games against the Stockton Heat, top affiliate of the Calgary Flames.  Games are tonight and Saturday, both are 7:00 PM starts and can be heard on TSN 1290.