The Moose began their last two-game series of the season at the MTS Centre against the Blackhawks’ AHL franchise, the Rockford Ice Hogs. The playoff-bound hogs came in with a record of 37-20-14, yet they were o-2 against the Moose so far this season. Eric Comrie started his second game in a row, and was looking for his first win since February 27th against Charlotte.
Key Plays of the Game
The Moose controlled the puck in the offensive zone, and Brendan Lemieux circled the net, and passed to d-man Jon Jutzi who fired a shot on net; the puck came to Dan DeSalvo, who was all alone, but just missed an empty net.
Moose score to go up 1-0: Just over 7 minutes in, John Albert came down the left wing and threw a shot on net; the rebound squirted towards Scott Kosmachuk, who one-timed it home.
Rockford ties the game up, 1-1: On the powerplay, Rockford defenceman Ville Pokka collected a rebound at the side of the Moose net and just slid the puck across the line.
Moments later, Scott Kosmachuk nearly responded by flying down the right wing and blowing by a defender, but his quick wrister found the left post and went out of play.
Moose go up 2-1: Just over a minute in, the puck hopped just over Dan DeSalvo’s stick and came to Brendan Lemieux, who centred it for Austen Brassard – Brassard roofed it blocker side, giving Lemieux his first AHL point. (Dan DeSalvo also increased his point streak to 5 games).
Moose score to make it 3-1: On the powerplay, Keith McCambridge sent 5 forwards on the ice, including Dan DeSalvo to play the point. Chase De Leo got the puck from DeSalvo and put if off the cross bar; on the next series, a puck came out front to Brendan Lemieux, and he squeeked it by Hogs’ goaltender Mac Carruth – his first goal in his professional career.
Moose go up 4-1: Brandon Denham came down the right wing and sent a saucer pass towards the net, which was deflected down beautifully by Sean Escobedo, through the 5-hole; that marked 3 Moore goals in just 2:37
Moose ice it, 5-1: With 1:50 left to play, and the Hogs’ net empty, Austen Brassard found the open cage to snuff out any comeback attempt.
Tonight’s Best Moose:
Scott Kosmachuk – After missing the past two games with an upper body injury, Kosmachuk came back and made an immediate impact. He scored the team’s first goal, hit a post on a great individual effort, and wore an “A” for the first time in his AHL career. He looks incredibly confident right now, and if he starts next season like this, he’s going to put up some impressive stats.
Brendan Lemieux – Lemieux got 2 points tonight, including his first AHL goal, banging home a rebound on the powerplay. He also was counted on to kill penalties, and displayed an impressively well-rounded game for a player who just turned 20 in March. In just his third AHL game, he is already one of the more noticeable players on the ice, and has made a fairly seamless transition to pro hockey.
Eric Comrie – After a few recent tough outings, Comrie was solid tonight, making 32 saves on 33 shots. While his overall stat-line this season is unimpressive – a 3.12 goals-against-average, and .908 save percentage, those numbers in no way represent how good he has played in 90% of his games. In the darkest days of the season, he was often the only shining light for this club.
Josh Morrissey remains out of the lineup, and is unlikely to return this season. Patrice Cormier also missed today’s game. J.C Lipon, Peter Stoykewych, Ryan Olsen, Jake Baker, and Thomas Raffl are out for the season.
Brendan Lemieux talks about his first AHL goal, and his adjustment to the pro game
Austen Brassard talks about his team’s effort, and how things stack up for the future
Keith McCambridge discusses some of the young players on his roster, including Brendan Lemieux and Jansen Harkins