The Manitoba Moose (25-35-4-5) open their final home stand of the season this evening as the Grand Rapids Griffins (43-21-1-4) fly into MTS Centre at 7 p.m. CT.
Manitoba last saw the ice on Saturday night against the San Jose Barracuda. After the Moose found themselves down by two through 20 minutes, Manitoba battled back scoring three powerplay goals. But, the Barracuda proved why they’re in the AHL’s top spot as they held off the Moose attack and added four more tallies to take a 6-3 win.
Coming into tonight’s game the Moose are 0-2-0-0 vs. Grand Rapids. The Moose and Griffins last matched up 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.
With Roslovic and Connor joining the Jets, the Moose announced three roster moves on Monday. The team signed Tulsa Oilers (ECHL) forwards Phil Brewer and Danick Gauthier to professional tryouts. Manitoba also signed forward Elgin Pearce to an amateur tryout. Brewer has 32 points (11G, 21A) in 59 games for Tulsa this season. Gauthier has 21 points (10G, 11A) in 62 games split between Tulsa and Norfolk. Pearce posted 31 points (20G, 11A) in 28 games for the University of Calgary Dinos.
The Moose are in a stretch of some tough competition. As the standings currently sit, by season’s end, the Moose will have faced off against opponents with a .540 points percentage or better in nine of 11 games. Of those games, six of them are against teams with better than a .600 points percentage. The Moose are in a set of four-straight against division leaders, coming off a pair of losses to San Jose (Pacific) and hosting Grand Rapids (Central) this week.
Grand Rapids’ Story
The Griffins come into today’s game after having lost three straight games. The Detroit Red Wings affiliate sits first in the Central Division and are 5-4-0-1 in their last 10 games. Grand Rapids has no problem scoring goals, sitting fourth in the league with 235. Matt Lorito is their top producer with 53 points (20G, 23A) in 57 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 (723).
The Moose and Griffins will clash for the fourth and final time this season tomorrow night at 7 p.m. CT. For tickets to all Manitoba Moose home games, visit moosehockey.com/tickets.