Jan. 19, 2018 – Manitoba Moose vs. Texas Stars
The Manitoba Moose took on the Texas Stars (AHL, Dallas) at the Bell MTS Place on Friday night. Going into the game with a record of 26-8-3-2, the Jets’ AHL club led the Central Division by 11 points, and were holding onto first place in the AHL over the Toronto Marlies. Unfortunately, the story of the night was about who wasn’t in the lineup – the team was missing Jack Roslovic and Michael Hutchinson (NHL), Mike Sgarbossa (suspension), J.C Lipon (injured the last 4 games), Cam Schilling (injured the last 3 games), and Buddy Robinson, the team’s leading active scorer. Robinson was a late scratch, so the team only dressed 11 forwards, along with 7 defencemen.
After a quiet start, the first event came 7:09 into the first period when Eric Comrie stopped a low shot from the point, but kicked out a juicy rebound – Roope Hintz quickly buried low blocker side to make it 1-0 Stars. Exactly one a half minutes later, Stars’ captain Curtis McKenzie broke into the Moose zone two-on-one against Peter Stoykewych. The Moose defender chose to take away the pass, and McKenzie walked in and beat Comrie glove side to make it 2-0. The Moose had a powerplay mid-way through the first, but looked disjointed and weren’t able to create any chances. With just over a minute left in the first, it appeared that the Stars had scored a third goal, but the referee immediately called it back due to goalie interference. (Though no penalty was called on the play). The first period ended with the Stars holding a decided edge in play, and leading 2-0. The Moose didn’t have a single high-quality scoring chance all period.
The second got off to a better start for the Moose – they had more zone time, and had an early edge in shots. Sami Niku generated the first good chance of the game, going coast-to-coast on the powerplay, and setting up Nic Petan for a back-door tap-in, but he wasn’t able to convert. The Moose powerplay was cut short when Chase De Leo was called for a faceoff violation, and the situation looked dire when that was followed quickly by a Patrice Cormier goalie interference call, putting them down 5-on-3. After killing off one penalty, Chase De Leo almost narrowed the lead to a goal on a shorthanded breakaway, but he was turned away. Nonetheless, they were able to kill off the other penalty too, and seemingly build a bit of momentum. However, with just 18 seconds left in the period, Roope Hintz gathered a tricky centreing pass and beat Comrie on a quick backhander to deflate Moose hopes heading into the third.
With a 10-minute misconduct assessed to Cormier at the end of the middle frame, and Beauvillier and De Leo out for the game, the Moose began the third with only 8 forwards on their bench (remember, they started the game with only 11). It was at this point that coach Vincent switched Tucker Poolman to forward out of necessity. On the penalty kill just a few minutes in, Curtis McKenzie took full advantage, finishing off a beautiful cross-crease, back-door feed to give the Stars a commanding 4-0 lead with 16:30 left to play.
The Moose just couldn’t get anything generated and ultimately were shut out for the first time this season.
Official game sheet link
-This was the first game all season where the Moose have been shut-out
-Missing their top-2 centres (Roslovic & Sgarbossa), their top winger (Robinson), and another top-9 winger (Lipon), the Moose forwards struggled to even generate scoring chances. The only line that had any consistent zone time was the trio of Petan, Spacek, and Appleton, but they didn’t have many quality opportunities. The only other guy making things happen offensively with Sami Niku, who helped the team push the pace in the second period when they were only trailing by two
-With De Leo and Beauvillier injured tonight, they ended the game with just 8 healthy forwards, 2 of which are Darren Kramer and Jimmy Lodge – guys who weren’t even among the top-14 forward options when the wins were flowing fast and furious
-In the 8 games Jack Roslovic has missed since his call-up(s) to the Jets, the Moose have won just 2 games (2-4-2)
Coach Vincent provided updates on the injured Moose players post-game.
-Buddy Robinson “It’s something that happened in the afternoon. It might be a day, it might be two days. We don’t think it’s going to be long-term, upper-body.”
-There was no update on Francis Beauvillier (upper-body) or Chase De Leo (upper-body) who left the game in the 2nd (Beauvillier) and 3rd (De Leo).
– Cam Schilling could be a player for the Moose tomorrow. Coach Vincent said “he (Schilling) had to go through a workout tonight and if it goes well he might be a player.”
While the original plan was for Jansen Harkins to play 6-10 game with the Icemen in the ECHL necessity may require his recall earlier than planned. Coach Vincent post-game said he would talk to Moose GM Craig Heisinger about bringing the Jets 2015 2nd rounder back saying “but I think that there is a very good chance that he comes back”.
Due to a banged up forward group, #MBMoose defenceman Tucker Poolman wound up playing the third period on the wing. He spoke to the media after tonight’s game #GoMooseGo pic.twitter.com/Xze6eNYR14
— Manitoba Moose (@ManitobaMoose) January 20, 2018
#MBMoose Head Coach Pascal Vincent answered questions about Tucker Poolman’s versatility and preparation for tomorrow’s rematch against the Stars #GoMooseGo pic.twitter.com/DUjGW35ViF
— Manitoba Moose (@ManitobaMoose) January 20, 2018
Next Game Action
Saturday, January 20 at Bell-MTS Place vs. the Texas Stars.