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Moose Fall 5-4 in Wild Finish vs. Iowa

Recap of the Moose loss.

The Moose reached the half-way point of the season today (game 38), as they took on the Iowa Wild at Bell-MTS Place. Coming into the game, the Moose boasted a record of 25-7-3-2, first overall in the AHL, and 11 points up in their division. However, the team’s record since the recall of Jack Roslovic was a pedestrian 2-2-2-0. With Michael Hucthinson on temporary recall with the Jets, it’s Eric Comrie’s net; today marked just his 3rd start since December 15, following a lower-body  injury. Along with Hutchinson, the Moose were also without their other two AHL all-stars – Jack Roslovic (Jets), and Cam Schilling (injured – day-to-day).

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Moose fall 5 4


1-De Leo-Sgarbossa-Appleton

Scratches: Lipon (injured)


Scratches: Schilling (day-to-day), Nogier (injured long-term), Gotovets, Kostalek





Appleton-Sgarbossa-De Leo

Game Recap

The Moose started out strong, out-shooting the wild 6-0 in the first 7 minutes of the game. The home team then opened the scoring with about 5 minutes left in the first – on the powerplay, Michael Spacek fed a pass across for Sami Niku and he tee’d up a one-timer which beat goaltender Steve Michalek high glove side. Unfortunately for the Moose, Mike Sgarbossa took a 5-minute cross-checking major and game misconduct, and things began to unravel. The Moose had been well up in shots and scoring chances to that point, but Iowa scored on the PP almost immediately to tie the game, as AHL veteran Cal O’Reilly sniped high on Comrie from the left faceoff dot. Comrie then made two unbelievable saves to keep the scored tied after the first period.

The Wild entered the second with momentum, and scored 3 goals in the first 5 minutes of the period. First, Landon Ferraro got in tight and was stopped by Comrie, but followed up and pulled off the wrap around to give the Wild the lead. Then, on a broken play, a puck randomly came to Kyle Rau who was alone in the slot, and he beat a stunned Comrie blocker side. Then on the powerplay, a shot caught Comrie high and a big rebound came out to Sam Anas; Comrie didn’t move, and Anas quickly found the back of the net to put the Wild up 4-1. The Moose looked shell-shocked for the rest of the second, mustering only 1 good scoring chance in the period, and went to the room a disheartened looking bunch.

As bad as they were in the second, the Moose were every bit as good in the third. They came out and scored instantly, just 17 seconds in, when Nic Petan made a circus-like tip from his stomach to make the score 4-2. Same lax defence from Sutter, Kulevich and Beaudoin allowed Justin Kloos in all alone, and he beat Comrie to make it 5-2. Jamie Phillips came in in relief of Comrie. From there on, it was all Moose.  Around the 4-minute mark, Peter Stoykewych pinched in deep, and took the puck hard to the net; the puck caromed out front to Sami Niku, and he potted his 2nd goal, and 3rd point of the day to make the score 5-3. The Moose controlled play and generated a flurry of chances, registering 18 shots in the first 14 minutes of the period. Then with 6 minutes left, Tucker Poolman made a nice pinch, and a better pass to Brody Sutter in the slot, and his shot squeaked past Michalek to get the Moose within one at 5-4. They continued to press for the remainder of the period, and had two tremendous chances in the final minute, but the Wild laid their bodies on the line and were able to block grade A chances from Petan and De Leo and preserve the victory.

Scoring Summary

Official game sheet link

Game Notes & Other News

-Tucker Poolman: He seemed to make progress even within this very game. Offensively, he looked a bit lost in the first two periods. He had a few chances, but floated weak wristers on net, or too much time to make a play. Then in the third period, he raised his level of play, making good pinches, and creating the goal that got the team within 1. Defensively, he was good all game, successfully breaking up plays with his stick, and using good gap control to prevent zone entries.

-Sami Niku: While he was rewarded with 2 goals and an assist today, he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, by his standards. He had 4 shots on goal, and used his quick, fluid stride to get himself in position for each of his two goals, particularly the second one, where he snuck down into the slot. He now has 27 points in 38 games on the season, which places him first among rookie AHL D, third among all AHL defencemen, and tied for 7th among all rookies. Despite the offence, he doesn’t play a high-risk game. Defensively, there’s room for improvement in zone coverage, and getting better at winning one-on-one battles, but that’s par for the course for most 21-year-old defencemen who need more experience, and more weight/strength.

-Nic Petan: A goal and 4 shots today for Petan, who looked dangerous at times, particularly in the third. He nearly tied the game in the last minute, but had his shot blocked. With Roslovic currently a Jet, he’s the most gifted and dynamic forward left on the team. He’s creating lots of chances, but at times he forces plays that aren’t there, and tries to do a little too much on his own.

-Mason Appleton: He made a few nice plays today, including one where he showed great patience in setting up Mike Sgarbossa (who just missed the golden opportunity). His skating and playmaking abilities continue to grow, and it looks like the Jets may have a right winger to fit into their bottom-6 in the next couple of years. While his play hasn’t dipped since Roslovic was recalled, his stats have – just 4 points in 7 games since his line mate’s recall. But that says much more about Roslovic’s tremendous skill than it does about Appleton’s play. He’s still tied for the league lead in rookie scoring, with 35 points in 38 games.

-Eric Comrie: He had a few shining moments today, particularly early in the first where he stymied the Wild on a few great powerplay chances. He also struggled at times, unable to shut the door early in the second where the Wild made a few routine plays which turned into goals. He’s allowed 5 goals in back-to-back games, and will need to be better for a team which lacks both its best forward (Roslovic), and its top defender (Schilling). And based on history, it’s very likely that he will be.

-Injury Updates: Cam Schilling has yet to practice and was ruled out of tomorrow’s game. There was no update on J.C Lipon, but it’s presumed that he will be out of tomorrow’s game as well


Next Game Action

Sunday, January 14 at Bell-MTS Place vs. the Iowa Wild.