The Moose slide hit four games on this homestand and they were looking to bring that to a close as well as to reduce their magic number, which was five coming into this game. The Griffins on the other hand were sitting in last place in the Central and a loss would have eliminated them from playoff contention.
Evan Polei is all healed/rested up and he was ready to return. He was reunited with the Lunch Pail Line. Simon Lundmark in. Bauer & Boland out.
Malott – Toninato – Limoges
Harkins – Meireles – Ford
Torgersson – Nikkanen – Reichel
Polei – Maier – Jones
Oligny – Gawanke
Heinola – Stewart
Sautner – Lundmark
Pair of Winnipeggers honoured in a pre-game ceremony ahead of puck drop. Former NHL goalie turned coach Rick St. Croix who worked with Hellebuyck, Comrie and many others. And former captain Peter Stoykewych who wore antlers for five seasons.
Last game at midpoint of the 1st period the Moose had held the Canucks to zero shots on goal while taking 15. This game at midpoint of the 1st they similarly hadn’t allowed a shot by the Griffins. ALTHOUGH in this game the Moose only had one shot themselves. They held the Griffins without a shot for 12:22 of the 1st period.
Manitoba, courtesy of some early power play opportunity, began to pile up the shots ending the 1st leading 11-1 but the score remained 0-0 although the AHL reduced this during the intermission to 10-1 after 20 minutes of play.
The special teams were up and down as the power play went 0/3 in the 1st but the PK went 2/2.
However this didn’t carry over in the 2nd period as there were tons of penalties and all three goals scored were with the man advantage. The Griffins took a 1-0 lead early in the middle frame on just their second shot of the game.
With his team down a goal Jeff Malott took it upon himself to get his team to wake up. Wonder what Jeff‘s brother Mike, who is an MMA fighter, would score this bout.
Perhaps it did because a minute later Jets 2020 2nd rounder Daniel Torgersson scored a power play goal as he cleaned up in front of the Griffins net. It was his 11th goal of the season and second in as many games.
The Moose took three straight penalties (including giving them two 5 on 3’s) but Oskari Salminen stood tall making 18 saves the rest of the 2nd period.
They survived the onslaught and took the lead courtesy of Greg Meireles eighth goal of the season. It was their second power play goal of the game.
The 3rd period saw Grand Rapids get started right tying the game just 22 seconds into the final frame and then getting two more goals in the next 7:20 to give themselves an improbable 4-2 lead. An empty netter would make it a 5-2 final.
That’s five straight regulation losses for this Moose team. Last time that happened to Manitoba was 2019-20.
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They have a chance to arrest their slide tomorrow night when the homestand concludes with a re-match against the Griffins. It’s also Fan Appreciation Night. Puck drop is at 6 PM CDT.