The Moose concluded the pre-Christmas portion of their season with a 15-18-0-0 record. They did get some good news during the break as Sami Niku is back to full health, Kristian Vesalainen wasn’t too badly impacted from last Sunday’s game (when he didn’t return in the 3rd period) and veteran Ryan White is ready to go after being out since early November.
Perhaps the biggest news the Moose got was that Eric Comrie had cleared waivers and will be back with Manitoba.
It was an inauspicious start to the game as Ryan White laid out the IceHogs Philipp Kurashev and took a five-minute major penalty and was ejected from the game. The Moose PK was pretty solid and limited Rockford to just one goal when Tyler Sikura ripped a shot past Mikhail Berdin. On a late first period power play for the home side two no-look, behind the back passes led to rookie defenceman Johnathan Kovacevic putting it home to tie the game at one.
Two no-look behind the back passes finished off by Jonathan Kovacevic ties this game at 1. pic.twitter.com/G4hbdZLq6O
— Dave Minuk (@ICdave) December 29, 2019
The middle frame looked like the Moose were going to get rolling as the Czech connection of Kristian Reichel and Michael Spacek scored about four minutes apart. However the IceHogs made it a bit closer a few moments later as Philip Holm scored an awkward looking goal past Mikhail Berdin to make it a 3-2 Manitoba lead.
That was as close as it would get however as Berdin stopped all nine shots he would face in the 3rd period including a couple of big stops with the net empty for Rockford and with an extra attacker on the ice. In total Berdin stopped 30 shots this afternoon in the win.
Manitoba improves to 16-18-0-0 this season.
The Moose will conclude 2019 with a New Years Eve game in a re-match with the IceHogs. Puck drop is at 4 pm.