The Moose and the Admirals met 12 times during the regular season but that all goes out the window when the post-season gets underway. One thing Manitoba could count on, despite missing some guys from the lineup, was that they came into the playoffs firing on all cylinders having handed the Canucks two losses by a final combined score of 13-1 last weekend.
The Manitoba lineup had some question marks coming into the game with the status of Kristian Reichel uncertain after this hit in the third last game of the season back on April 26th. Top centre David Gustafsson ditched the yellow, non-contact he was wearing for a regular uniform during practice this week. Lastly, Austin Poganski was dealing with a lower-body injury that has kept him out of the lineup since April 16th although Moose head coach Mark Morrison did say at practice this week that the Minnesota product is healthy.
The Moose augmented their goalie ranks by announcing the recall of goaltender Philippe Desrosiers from the ECHL. He played in four games this season for Manitoba going 2-1-0 with 2.54 GAA and a .909 save %.
The only changes from practice was Bobby Lynch came out and Austin Poganski came in.
Manitoba looked a bit tentative to start the game but began to get things rolling controlling the puck and getting lots of shots on net.
It was a ho-hum opening period as both teams played a bit cautious with the Moose holding a 10-6 shot edge.
The visitors had some excellent chances in the 2nd period but Devin Cooley made save after save or else his crossbar did. Cooley came into this game with a .898 save % and a 3.06 GAA. Last time the Moose faced him they scored five goals on 30 shots.
Moose don’t have any quit in their game as CJ Suess showed scoring to tie the game late in the middle frame. But a brain fart by David Gustafsson let the home team take the lead with 0.3 seconds left in the 2nd. Shots were 17-8 for the Moose in that period but they were down 2-1.
Declan Chisholm fired home a shot early in the 3rd to tie the game but late in the final frame following an unsuccessful power play for Manitoba they had a lapse which allowed Milwaukee to take a 3-2 lead.
Players media interview:
Coach media availability:
The Moose and Admirals will be right back in action on Saturday night in Milwaukee with game 2 getting underway at 6 PM CDT.