PREVIEW: The Home OpenerBy: Manitoba Moose Staff | Published: October 12th 2018
Oct. 12, 2018 vs BELLEVILLE SENATORS
AThe Manitoba Moose (0-2-0-0) play the first of 38 home games tonight at Bell MTS Place against the Belleville Senators (0-1-0-0). Limited tickets are still available at moosehockey.com/tickets/, or you can listen in on TSN 1290, at moosehockey.com/listenlive/ or on the Moose App.
The Moose had a tough first weekend of the season in Iowa, falling 4-1 and 8-1 to the Wild. Rookies C.J. Suess and Kristian Reichel scored their first goals of the campaign; for Reichel, the first of his North American professional career.
Assistant coach Marty Johnston said while the team was disappointed in outcome of the first two games, the coaching staff got an early look at the resolve of their roster.
“It’s nice in a sense that we get to see what players are like when they face adversity. We obviously don’t like the results of the games, but they’re tested in terms of their mental toughness and we’ve been pleasantly surprised with how the group’s responded this week.”
Belleville’s first visit to Winnipeg was just under one year ago at the beginning of their inaugural season. In that weekend set the Senators beat the Moose 4-3 in a shootout on the Friday night (Oct. 27), and 3-2 in overtime the following evening (Oct. 28).
Goaltender Eric Comrie went 2-0-0-1 in three starts against Belleville in 2017-18, stopping 71 of 78 shots, for a 0.910 save percentage. Mason Appleton, meanwhile, notched seven points (1G, 6A) in four meetings with the Senators. Appleton is one of a few key contributors who hopes to crack the scoresheet this weekend. “
Friday night’s game will also be the first time Winnipeg-born defenceman Peter Stoykewych wears the captain’s “C” on his jersey. The team announced on Thursday the fourth-year Moose player will become the franchise’s eighth captain.
For Stoykewych, the final draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers (7th round, 199th overall in 2010), the experience of taking on the captaincy in his hometown is a little surreal.
“Growing up, watching the Manitoba Moose, I always wanted to be out on that ice sheet, but I never thought I’d be in this position. I’m obviously honoured and humbled to be able to do it here.”
Stoykewych will be joined by alternate captains JC Lipon and Cameron Schilling, and knows that using his teammates will be integral to his and the team’s success,
“There are other guys in the room that I’m going to need to rely on, and at the end of the day we need to drive this ship. Really, what happens out there on the ice all starts in the room.”
On Friday, the first 6,000 fans in the building will receive a pair of light-up thundersticks. Fans will also receive a Moose schedule magnet while exiting Bell MTS Place. Ticket’s for tonight’s 7 p.m. CT puck drop and Saturday’s 6 p.m. CT rematch are available at moosehockey.com/tickets/.