PREVIEW: One More for the Road
The Manitoba Moose (32-11-3-3) play out the second half of their series against the Cleveland Monsters (14-25-4-3) this afternoon. It’s been almost a month since Manitoba played a game with an earlier start (Jan. 14). The Moose seem to be early risers though, they’re 8-3-0-1 in afternoon games this season, outscoring their opposition by a total of 45–27. You can catch the 2 p.m. (CT) puck drop on moosehockey.com/listenlive/, or the Moose Mobile App.
FACING DOWN MONSTERS
Born in Cleveland, Moose forward Jansen Harkins has found plenty of success against the Monsters in his young career. The rookie has five points (2G, 3A) in five games against the Monsters. That mark accounts for 28 per cent of Harkins career total of 18 points (5G, 13A) in 45 games.
The Moose close out a six-game road swing and run of nine straight games away from Bell MTS Place tonight. The stretch has been good to the Moose, who carry a 6-1-0-1 record into today’s finale. With a 0.778 points percentage, the Moose hold the second-best road record in the AHL at 20-5-1-1, and were the second team in the league to reach 20 road wins on the season.
With Michael Hutchinson and Eric Comrie both on the Winnipeg Jets roster, goaltender Jamie Phillips has an opportunity to take on the starter’s role with the Moose. On Friday, the Caledonia, ON product made an impact in his first start since Jan. 20, turning aside 31 of 33 shots he faced. Phillips holds a 2-1-0 record, supported by a 2.17 GAA and 0.934 SV% in four appearances this season.
Sami Niku continues to be a potent offensive threat from the Moose blue- line. The Winnipeg Jets 2015 seventh round pick scored his 10th goal of the season on Friday to become the fourth defenceman in the AHL to reach double digits this season. Niku is second among the league’s defenders with 36 points (10G, 26A) in 49 games and rides a five-game point streak into today’s matchup.
GETTING BACK INTO THE GAME
Friday’s win was the fifth time this season the Moose have trailed after the first period and come back to win. Manitoba holds a 5-6-2-1 record when facing a deficit after 20 minutes of play. On the flip side of that, the Moose haven’t often let teams back into the game when leading after the first with an 18-2-1-2 record.
The Moose finally head home to begin a stretch of eight games at Bell MTS Place. First up is a two-game set with the Grand Rapids Griffins (Feb. 15/17). For tickets to all home games, stop by moosehockey.com/tickets/.