The Manitoba Moose (28-37-5-5) wrap up their 2016-17 season tonight at 6 p.m. CT as they look to finish off strong with a win over the Cleveland Monsters (39-28-4-4).
A seven-goal second period, bookended by one-goal frames resulted in a 5-4 Cleveland win on Thursday night. Recent addition Jansen Harkins broke out for two goals while JC Lipon and Kyle Connor notched the other Manitoba markers. Eric Comrie was between the pipes making 24 saves in his 50th start of the season.
Coming into today’s matchup, the Moose have a 3-2-0-2 record versus the defending Calder Cup champions. Prior to last night’s game, their most recent matchup on Feb. 12 saw the Moose come away with a narrow 2-1 shootout victory in the Buckeye State. Dan DeSalvo had the clincher while Scott Kosmachuk scored in regulation.
Season Comes to a Close
The Moose started their season six months ago on Oct. 14 with a 3-1 win over the Iowa Wild. Manitoba comes into its final game of the season with a 28-37-5-5 record. That mark is two wins clear of the team’s first season back in Winnipeg, and the Moose have earned five more points on the season. The Moose improved upon their power play numbers, rising from 17.1% last season to 18.6% this campaign. The Moose have 12 players with 20+ points compared to last season’s tally of 11. The Moose have scored 16 more goals (196) than last season and have allowed eight less (242).
Manitoba’s ‘iron-man’ this season is defenceman Kevin Czuczman, appearing in all 75 games so far this season. The mark is a new career- high for Czuczman who played 74 games last year. The London, ON native is expected to play his 200th AHL game tonight. Named the team’s Best Defenceman, Czuczman leads the Moose defence with 32 points (9G, 23A) this season. He has 54 points (14G, 40A) in his AHL career.
The Monsters come into their final game of the season with their playoff lives on the line as they sit fourth in the Central Division with a point’s percentage of .573. The Charlotte Checkers are right behind the Monsters at .568 and have a game in hand along with the first tiebreaker between the two teams. Cleveland’s PK has fared well, sitting third in the AHL at 86 per cent. Sonny Milano leads the offense with 47 points (18G, 29A) in 62 games. Anton Forsberg is carrying the load between the pipes for Cleveland. Through 50 games, the Swedish netminder has 27 wins and a goal against average of 2.30 and an impressive 0.925 save percentage.
The 2017-18 season isn’t far away! Be sure to head to moosehockey.com/packages for information on all the different ticketing packages. See you at the rink next season!