PREVIEW: Game 4, the Griffins on the Brink
The Manitoba Moose (2-1) have a chance to eliminate the Grand Rapids Griffins (1-2) in Game 4, tonight at Van Andel Arena. Game 3 on Wednesday had everything, including: nine goals, 84 total penalty minutes, and a 45 save performance from Manitoba’s goalkeeper, Eric Comrie, for the 6-3 win. Tonight’s game will be available on TSN 1290 and moosehockey.com/listenlive/ starting at 5:45 p.m. (CT) with play-by-play announcer Mitch Peacock and the pre-game show.
LOOKING TO MOVE ON
The last time the franchise was in a position to move on in the Calder Cup Playoffs was in the 2014 Eastern Conference Final against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as the St. John’s IceCaps. The IceCaps led the series by a 3-1 count, but fell 4-2 in their first opportunity to clinch the series on the road. St. John’s came back with a 5-0 win at home on June 3/14 to move on to the Calder Cup Final.
LONG TIME COMING
Wednesday was a big night for Julian Melchiori. The veteran defender made his Calder Cup Playoffs debut after playing his first 324 regular season games without appearing in a playoff game. It was also Melchiori’s first game action in 59 days after suffering an injury on Feb. 25 against Chicago. The Richmond Hill, Ont. native made an impact in his return, assisting on the game-winning goal and recording a plus-two rating.
DE LEO’S DEALIN’
Forward Chase De Leo matched a pair of franchise records with a three-assist and four-point performance last night. Five players in franchise history racked up three assists in a game with the most recent being Andrew Gordon on May 28/14 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Six players have notched four points in a playoff game in Moose history. The last player to do so was Marco Rosa on April 16/11 vs. Lake Erie.
THE NEW KID
Forward Skyler McKenzie certainly made an entrance to the AHL in his professional debut. The Sherwood Park, Alta. native scored the game-winning goal for his first AHL marker in the second period of yesterday’s matchup. McKenzie is the third Portland Winterhawks product on the Moose, joining Chase De Leo and Nic Petan. The trio of Hawks combined for seven points (3G, 4A) last night.
EVERYONE’S CHIPPING IN
Three games into the series, the Moose have yet to see a multi-goal scorer in their lineup. All 10 goals scored by the team have been supplied by different players. On the other side, the Griffins have three multi-goal scorers and tallies from six players.
If necessary, the Moose and Griffins will play Game 5 on Monday (Apr. 30) at 6 p.m. (CT) at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. That game will also be broadcast on moosehockey.com/listenlive/ and TSN 1290.