Manitoba is coming off a 5-3 win in Rockford last night that saw Kyle Connor score 11 seconds into the first period and 1:10 into the second frame. After Manitoba jumped out to a 4-0 lead with goals from Scott Kosmachuk and Quinton Howden, Rockford stormed back with three third period powerplay goals 3:20 seconds apart. Manitoba managed to fend off the IceHogs’ offense the rest of the way before JC Lipon chipped in an empty netter to solidify a 5-3 Moose victory.
Manitoba’s only game against the Admirals was a narrow 4-3 overtime win, back on Nov. 26. Chase De Leo was Manitoba’s overtime hero while Jack Roslovic, Dan DeSalvo and Kevin Czuczman had the other Moose markers. Quinton Howden registered two assists in the win.
Moose forward JC Lipon is expected to play in his 250th AHL game on Saturday night when the Moose visit Milwaukee. Lipon began his pro career in the 2013-14 season with the St. John’s IceCaps on Oct. 4/13. Lipon scored a goal in his first AHL game. Over his career the Regina product has accumulated 118 points (34G, 84A) and picked up 494 penalty minutes. Lipon has registered at least 20 points in all four of his AHL seasons.
Boosting the Average
Over the last six games, Manitoba’s offense has come alive, scoring 21 goals including back-to-back five-goal performances in Rockford. In the six game stretch, Manitoba is averaging 3.5 goals per game. Prior to this run, the Moose were averaging 2.4 goals per game and only scored more than two goals in 16 of 51 games.
The Admirals find themselves in a dogfight for top spot in the Central Division, just three points behind Chicago and five points behind Grand Rapids. Milwaukee is 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games and is coming off a 5-4 shootout loss to the surging Charlotte Checkers. The Nashville Predators affiliate is top 10 in nearly every statistical category, so Manitoba will have to be sharp. Milwaukee has made a habit of taking penalties with the third most PIM’s in the AHL (890). The Admirals are a score by committee club with nine players over the 20-point mark. Leading the charge is Vladislav Kamenev with 39 (14G, 25A) points in 53 games. Marek Mazanec is Milwaukee’s main man between the posts with 16 wins on the season. He carries a 2.92 GAA and a .902 save percentage.
Three games in three days continues tomorrow as the Moose head down the road to Chicago for an afternoon affair with the Wolves. Game time is set for 3 p.m. CT. To listen to all Manitoba Moose road games, be sure to log onto moosehockey.com/listenlive. Don’t forget to tune in 15 minutes early for the pre-game show with Mitch Peacock.