PREVIEW: Showtime in ClevelandBy: Colin Peterson | Published: February 9th 2018
The Manitoba Moose (31-11-3-3) are back in action tonight, when they take on the Cleveland Monsters (14-24-4-3). The teams have met four times already this season. Cleveland claimed the first meeting, 3-4, but the Moose have taken over from there, winning the next three meetings by a combined score of 15-2. Tonight’s coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. (CT) with Steve Schuster and the pregame show on moosehockey.com/listenlive/, and the Moose Mobile App.
The Winnipeg Jets announced the recall of Eric Comrie on Thursday. Comrie has played in 25 games for the Moose this season and has a 15-8-2 record with a shutout, a 2.54 GAA and a .921 SV%. Comrie made his second career NHL start on Dec. 7/17 at Florida and made 30 saves in a 6-4 loss.
With Comrie’s recall, the Moose signed goaltender Jake Hildebrand to a professional tryout. Hildebrand has appeared in 36 games with the Tulsa Oilers (ECHL) this season. The second-year pro holds a 12-15-6 record, supported by a 3.28 goals-against average and a 0.907 save percentage.
TOP OF THE HEAP
Rookie forward Mason Appleton heads into tonight’s action at the top of the AHL scoring chart, with 45 points (16G, 29A). That means Appleton is just three points away from tying Jack Roslovic and Brendan Kichton’s AHL franchise rookie scoring record of 48 points. The Moose record comes from the inaugural IHL season (1996-97), when Steinbach’s Sean Tallaire scored 50 points (21G, 29A) in his debut. Averaging .94 points per game Appleton is on pace to hit 71 in his first professional season.
Captain Patrice Cormier continues to reach new heights this season. Having already set new a best for goals and a career-long goal streak at five games, Cormier has now recorded a personal best 34 points this season (19G, 15A). The Moncton, NB native is currently riding a seven-game point streak (4G, 6A), his longest ever. There are a few more AHL milestones on the horizon for Cormier, who is five goals away from 100, four assists away from 100, and nine points from 200. At 28 years old, Cormier is just nine games away from 400 in his career.
KEY TO THE GAME?
Special teams played a big part in Manitoba and Cleveland’s previous matchup. The Moose took seven penalties, while Cleveland had 10 infractions in the contest. Manitoba’s penalty kill was 6/6 on the night, while the power play scored on three of nine opportunities. Heading into tonight’s action the special teams could be a factor again. Manitoba is second best in the AHL on the man advantage, while Cleveland is ranked 29th.
The Moose take on Cleveland again Sunday afternoon, with a 2 p.m. (CT) puck drop. Then Manitoba heads home for eight straight home games beginning with Grand Rapids or Feb. 15. Head to moosehockey.com/tickets/ to catch some of the action at Bell MTS Place.