Tonight marks the final chapter between the Manitoba Moose (23-31-4-4) and Toronto Marlies (31-25-4-1) as the two Canadian squads square off at MTS Centre at 7 p.m. CT.
The Moose opened their final two-game set of the season against Toronto on Sunday afternoon as Manitoba hosted the Marlies on Retro Jersey Day. It was a back and forth affair all game, but Toronto came out on top with the 5-4 victory. The Moose had offence from all corners of the roster as Nelson Nogier, Brandon Tanev, Patrice Cormier and Ryan Olsen scored goals in the loss.
This is the eighth and final chapter of the season series. Manitoba is 1-6-0-0 against their Canadian counterpart this season with their lone victory coming on Jan. 3 in a 2-1 fashion at MTS Centre. Chase De Leo has been productive against Toronto, scoring goals in three of his last five games versus the Marlies.
Special Teams Disconnect
The Moose are posting better numbers with their special teams units during their current five-game losing streak than they were in their four-game winning streak in the games prior. During the win streak (between Feb. 25 and March 3) the Moose were 16.7 per cent successful on the powerplay and 66.7 per cent on the penalty kill. During their losing streak, the Moose have surpassed those numbers, scoring on 25 per cent of powerplays and killing 14/17 penalties (82.4 per cent).
Don’t Be Late
Fans arriving late to last week’s Moose games may have missed a significant amount of scoring. The Moose and their opponents combined for 13 first period goals this week, an average of 4.33 per first period. On its own, Manitoba is averaging 1.71 first period goals over its last seven outings. The Moose have scored 49 goals in the opening frame this season while allowing 54.
The Toronto’s Maple Leafs’ affiliate enters tonight’s game with a 6-3-1-0 record in its last 10 games. Through 61 games the Marlies sit third in the North Division. Scoring goals is something Toronto does well as they lead the North Division with 190. Kerby Rychel leads Toronto with 42 points (15G, 28A). Rychel had a big game on Sunday against the Moose, picking up a goal and two assists along with first star honours. The Marlies have the AHL’s fourth ranked PP, operating at 23.2 per cent.
Manitoba continues their eight-game home stand on Friday when the welcome the Rockford IceHogs to downtown Winnipeg for a 7 p.m. CT puck drop. For tickets to all Manitoba Moose home games, visit moosehockey.com/tickets.