The Moose came into today’s game having won two straight games and four of their last five contests but sitting low in the standings due to a poor start to the season.
The Stars came out with a strong start as they had a big losing streak coming into this game and were clearly looking to turn their fortunes arounds. But Mikhail Berdin coming off back-to-back shutouts kept that door closed and wouldn’t give up a 1st period goal. His Moose teammates however scored three times in just under a five minute span on goals from Spacek (PP), Pedersen on a nice breakaway shot and Jansen Harkins at the end of a Moose penalty kill which saw Skyler McKenzie step out of the box and set up the red-hot Jansen Harkins.
The middle frame wasn’t particularly noteworthy aside from the Stars narrowing the Moose lead when they scored with 5:59 left in the frame. It was notable as it ended Berdin’s shutout streak.
Final period was a bit more exciting as the Stars tried to press to tie it. Moose had a good chance to seal the deal with a long 5 on 3 power play but they couldn’t put the final nail in the Texas coffin. Which set up the situation for Texas to pull the goalie with 2:46 left in the game as they tried to get within one. Which had us in the pressbox wondering if Mikhail Berdin, who previously scored in the USHL, would go for it this afternoon. Of course we should have known he would….
Mikhail Berdin going for the empty net. Just missed it. pic.twitter.com/xBXOeuK2nq
— Dave Minuk (@ICdave) November 12, 2019
He wouldn’t score but shortly thereafter Jansen Harkins continued to put up the points as he scored into the empty net with 1.1 seconds left to end the game. Moose won it 4-1. That was their fifth win in the last six games and sees them improve to 6-8-0 on the season.
After missing the empty net goal Mike Mcintyre of the Winnipeg Free Press asked Mikhail Berdin as to what was going through his mind as he set up for that attempt “No comments about this. After I shot I looked to Pazzy (Moose head coach Pascal Vincent) to see if he’s not happy, I’m like ‘oh F–K’.”.
His defenceman Johnathan Kovacevic was clearly enthused about the attempt “I loved it. I love it. And I know he scored one like that in junior. Ya if it was a one-goal game I wouldn’t love it as much but ya two-goal game…fire away.”
When coach Vincent was asked about his goalie going for the empty net with a two-goal lead and whether he was unhappy with Berdin the bench boss replied “He’s got the ability to do it. Two goal lead…100% he can try it.”
Following the game coach Vincent was asked about three injured players. His updates were as follows, namely:
Logan Stanley – “A few more weeks for sure.”
Ryan White – “Still a few more weeks.”
Peter Stoykewych – “Got cleared. So we’re gonna practice him full practice and we’ll go from there.”
– Sami Niku played third straight game on left side (he prefers right);
– Six game points streak for Jansen Harkins (3G 10A);
– Six game points streak for Sami Niku (3G 5A);
– Five game points streak for Andrei Chibisov (1G 5A).
Next Game Action:
The Moose will continue the home stand with a Wednesday night re-match against the Stars.
I also appear on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show every Saturday on TSN 1290 Winnipeg starting at 9 am.
And I occasionally jump in the play-by-play booth at Bell MTS Place to provide colour analysis during Manitoba Moose games.