The Manitoba Moose finished their first homestand of the season last weekend by taking on the San Antonio Rampage, the new affiliate of the St Louis Blues. With both teams struggling early in the season, this was an opportunity for the Moose to gain some confidence before heading out on the road for 3 games in 4 days this weekend.
On Friday, the Moose got off to a good start, despite giving up 18 shots in the 1st period. JC Lipon’s first goal of the season gave the Moose an early lead, but former Brandon Wheat King Tanner Kaspick would tie the game in the final 90 seconds of the 1st to send the game to the 1st intermission tied at 1. After a scoreless 2nd period, the Moose responded in the 3rd period. Jansen Harkins would score his 1st goal of the season on a powerplay with 8 minutes to go to give the Moose a 2-1 lead, before CJ Suess’ team leading 4th of the season just 96 seconds later extended the lead to 3-1. Lipon would add his 2nd of the game into an empty net, and the Moose picked up their 2nd win of the year, a 4-1 win. Eric Comrie was outstanding, allowing just 1 goal on 35 shots for his 2nd win of the year.
On Sunday, the Moose looked to complete the weekend sweep of the Rampage. Unlike Friday, the Moose had a much better start to the game. Mason Appleton opened the scoring with a weak one from below the goal line that squeaked past Rampage goalie Ville Husso to give the Moose the lead. The lead lasted just over 2 minutes, as the Rampage would tie the game at 1, which is how we would head to the intermission. The Rampage took their first lead of the series early in the second on a powerplay goal, but from there the Moose took over the game. They would put a 4 goal second period together, including 3 even strength goals in the space of 3:45 to take a 5-2 lead into the 2nd intermission. In the 3rd, former Toronto Maple Leaf Nikita Soshnikov cut the Moose lead to 2 with a powerplay goal halfway through the 3rd period. Just over 3 minutes later, Appleton would complete his hat trick with the 2nd powerplay goal of the day for the Moose, leading the Moose to a 6-3 win. Eric Comrie was once again peppered, but allowed just 3 goals on 36 shots for the win.
Kristian Veselainen, the 2017 1st round pick by the Jets, rebounded well from being sent down, picking up 4 assists in the 2 games over the weekend. Veselainen, who picked up his 1st NHL point in the season opener for Winnipeg this year, is coming off a big season in the Finnish Elite League. In 49 regular season games, Veselainen scored 22 goals and 43 points as an 18-year-old. To top that off, he added 4 goals and 8 points in 18 playoff games for Karpat. For comparison, Patrik Laine had 17 goals and 33 points in his 18-year-old season in the same league.
“I think the way we’re going to score are goals is going to be different then how we did last year. The goals we’re going to score is driving the net, going to the net, first touch on the rebounds, and more like a playoff type of goals you’re going to see. It’s not necessarily going to be pretty.”
Moose coach Pascal Vincent after the 6-3 win over San Antonio on Sunday, talking about how the Moose generate offence
This Week’s Numbers
5 – The number of points Mason Appleton recorded in Sunday’s victory. Appleton is the 10th player in Moose franchise history to record a five-point game, and the 3rd player in franchise history to do it with 3 goals and 2 assists (joining Scott McCrory in 1997 and Mason Raymond in 2007).
200 – Moose captain Peter Stoykewych played in his 200th career AHL game on Friday night.
Standings as of October 25th, 6:00 PM
The Moose go out on the road for 3 Central Division matchups in 4 nights. The trip begins on Saturday against the Central Division leading Milwaukee Admirals (6:00 PM, moosehockey.com), before they head into Rockford for a rematch of last season’s Central Division Final against the IceHogs on Sunday (4:00 PM, moosehockey.com). The trip finishes back in Milwaukee on Tuesday (7:00 PM, TSN 1290). All games can be watched with a web subscription on AHL.TV.