PREVIEW: Rolling Into RockfordBy: Colin Peterson | Published: February 2nd 2018
The Manitoba Moose (29-10-3-2) are back out on the road, taking on the Rockford IceHogs (24-17-2-3). They’ll play their next six games away from Bell MTS Place and try to build on their 17-4-1-0 away record. Manitoba also comes into tonight’s matchup without a regulation loss in their last 11 road games. In the only previous meeting between the Moose and IceHogs this season, Manitoba won 8-1 thanks to the first professional hat-trick for JC Lipon. Tonight’s game is available on TSN 1290 or moosehockey.com/listenlive/ with Mitch Peacock and the pregame show starting at 6:45 p.m. (CT).
The Moose were represented at the AHL All-Star Classic by Mason Appleton, Michael Hutchinson, Cameron Schilling and head coach Pascal Vincent. Schilling scored a goal and Appleton added an assist in the All-Star Challenge on Monday. In the Skills Competition the previous evening, Schilling blasted the seventh hardest shot in event history to finish second in the competition. Michael Hutchinson stopped 14 of 18 shots he faced in the event, two back of the evening’s top netminders.
KEEPING IT IN THE DIVISION
In addition to the beginning of a six-game road swing, tonight’s game also represents the start of a stretch of heavy divisional play for the Moose. Manitoba plays the next 17 games against opponents from the Central Division – just a few games shy of matching the 22 total games the Moose have played within their division so far this season. Manitoba holds a 14-5-2-1 record against the Central.
PETAN’S BIG WEEK
Forward Nic Petan paced the AHL this week with seven points (1G, 6A) in just three games. Petan started the week posting a goal and an assist in the win against Belleville, before his biggest output on Friday in a three-assist evening that included a highlight reel setup for Michael Spacek. Saturday’s outing saw the Delta, BC native pick up another two helpers. Five of Petan’s assists this week went down as primary ones. The third-year pro is now second on the Moose with 39 points (10G, 29A) in 37 games.
Recording their 29th win of the season on Saturday, the Moose have matched their 76-game win total from 2016-17 in just 44 games. Looking back on the franchise’s history, the Moose have won their 29th game in their 44th game just twice before. The 2004-05 and 2008-09 teams both reached 29 wins at the same time. The 2008-09 squad won its 30th game in game number 45 and went on to post the franchise record of 50 wins that season.
CAREER HIGH FOR STOYKEWYCH
Defenceman Peter Stoykewych picked up an assist on Jan. 27 for his 21st point of the season, a new career high for the third-year pro. His six goals on the season were already a career high, while his 15 assists match his total from last season.
The Moose are right back on the ice tomorrow night in Milwaukee. Saturday is the start of a two-game set against the Admirals with puck drop at 6 p.m. (CT). Tune in on moosehockey.com/listenlive/.