The Manitoba Moose (23-30-4-4) look to pick up their first win of an eight-game home stand this afternoon as they host the Toronto Marlies (30-25-4-1) at 2 p.m. CT.
A five-minute span in the first period sunk the Moose as Charlotte scored three times on the way to a 4-1 victory. Lucas Wallmark, Connor Brickley and Trevor Carrick did the damage. Kyle Connor got one back before the end of the first, but the only goal scored after the opening 20 came off the stick of Andrew Miller as the Checkers cruised to the win on 50 saves from Tom McCollum.
This is the seventh chapter of the all-Canadian matchup between the Moose and Marlies. Manitoba is 1-5-0-0 against their Canadian counterpart this season with their lone victory coming on Jan. 3 in a 2-1 fashion. Chase De Leo has been productive against Toronto, scoring goals in three of his last four games versus the Marlies.
Manitoba came just shy of a franchise record 52 shots on net on Friday, firing 50 shots at Tom McCollum in the Charlotte goal. It was a season-high mark for the Moose who posted 16 shots in the first, 18 in the second and 16 in the third. Kyle Connor led the way with seven attempts on goal, while his linemates Patrice Cormier and JC Lipon each had six shots.
Getting it Done Five-on-Five
Kyle Connor notched his 19th goal of the season on Friday. The marker was his 14th of the campaign at even strength, which leads the Moose by five. The first year pro also leads the team with 23 points (14G, 9A) at even strength. He’s followed by JC Lipon who has 21 points (7G, 14A).
The Toronto’s Maple Leafs’ affiliate enters this afternoon’s game with a 6-3-1-0 record in its last 10 games. Through 60 games the Marlies sit third in the North Division. Scoring goals is something Toronto does well as they lead the division with 185. Recently acquired forward, Cal O’Reilly, leads Toronto with 42 points (9G, 33A). O’Reilly is expected to make his Marlies’ debut this afternoon. Toronto’s powerplay is something the Moose will have to avoid. The Marlies have the AHL’s fourth ranked PP, operating at 23.1 per cent.
Throwing it Back
The Moose sport a different look today, wearing their white 1996-97 retro jerseys for the game. The team features some familiar faces from that squad. Staff members Craig Heisinger, Eric Dubois and Rick St. Croix were all members of the organization. Dubois suited up on the team’s blue line, posting 25 points (8G, 17A) and 60 penalty minutes in 80 games for the Moose during their first season in Winnipeg.
Manitoba will have a day to sharpen their skills before they go at it once again with the Marlies. The two teams wrap up their season series on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. CT. For tickets to all Manitoba Moose home games, visit moosehockey.com/tickets.
Here’s the original team photo from the 1996-97 season! Can you spot current Assistant Coach Eric Dubois and Goaltending Coach Rick St. Croix?