The Manitoba Moose (26-36-4-5) look to make it two straight victories this evening as they close out their back-to-back series with the Grand Rapids Griffins (43-22-1-4) at 7 p.m. CT.
Manitoba began their final home stand on a positive note – earning a 3-1 victory over Grand Rapids on Tuesday night. Recent addition Danick Gauthier got the scoring started with a power play goal in the first period. Scott Kosmachuk and Francis Beauvillier had the other Moose markers. Eric Comrie was sharp in goal, making 35 saves en route to his 17th win of the season, while earning first star honours.
Coming into tonight’s game, the Moose are 1-2-0-0 vs. Grand Rapids this season. Prior to yesterday’s matchup, the Moose and Griffins last met on Feb. 15 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. The early game, starting at 11 a.m., saw the teams combine for 12 goals in a 7-5 Griffins victory. Patrice Cormier (2G), Chase De Leo (1G, 1A), Kyle Connor (2A) and Jack Roslovic (2A) each had two-point efforts in the loss.
The Winnipeg Jets announced today they have recalled goaltender Eric Comrie from the Manitoba Moose. Today’s recall is the first time the 21-year-old netminder has been recalled by the NHL club. So far this season, Comrie sports a 2.98 goals-against average and a 0.906 save percentage. The 21-year-old recently set a season career high in games played when he made his 47th appearance last Friday against the San Jose Barracuda. In 99 AHL games, Comrie has a 3.09 GAA and a 9.05 SV%.
The Moose lineup looks considerably different right now, heading into the final five games of the season, than it did for opening night. Ten players who suited up for the Moose in a 3-1 victory in Iowa were not in the lineup for Manitoba against Grand Rapids on Tuesday. Seven of those players were recalled by the Winnipeg Jets (Petan, Copp, Dano, Nogier, Melchiori, Pavelec, Roslovic). The Moose currently have nine players on tryouts with the team, with just one of those (Glennie) starting the season with Manitoba. Comrie’s recall makes it eight players from that opening night lineup with the Jets.
Grand Rapids’ Story
The Griffins come into tonight’s game after having lost four straight games. The Detroit Red Wings affiliate sits first in the Central Division and are 5-5-0-0 in their last 10 games. Grand Rapids has no problem scoring goals, sitting third in the league with 236. Matt Lorito is their top producer with 54 points (21G, 23A) in 58 games. Goaltending and defence have been a theme for the Griffins, only allowing 2.52 goals per game. The Griffins are a disciplined bunch too, taking the second least amount of PIMs in the league (729).
The Moose open their final two-game set on home ice this season on Friday when the Tucson Roadrunners make their first visit to Winnipeg. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. CT. Remember fans; you’ll want to arrive early, as the first 3,000 fans in the building will receive a Nic Petan mini bobblehead! For tickets to all Manitoba Moose home games, visit moosehockey.com/tickets.