Fast Facts: Moose vs. Texas – April 26By: Manitoba Moose Staff | Published: April 26th 2022
The Moose open the final week of the regular season this evening at Canada Life Centre. Tonight’s matchup is one of three rescheduled games this week to wrap up the campaign. The Texas Stars are in town for their final game of the regular season. While the Moose have cinched up second place in the division and home ice advantage in the Central Division Semi-Finals, the Stars are fighting for the final spot in the divisional playoffs. Texas currently holds the fifth and final spot and can clinch with a win tonight. Tickets for tonight’s 7 p.m. CT game in downtown Winnipeg are available at MooseHockey.com/TICKETS. Coverage on CJOB.com/sports, AHLTV and the Manitoba Moose App begins at 6:45 p.m. CT.
Keeping Up With the Jones
Nicholas Jones recorded an assist in Manitoba’s 6-2 win over Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon. The forward has tallied 29 points (10G, 19A) in 58 games this season and is in the midst of a career-best campaign with the Moose. Jones is tied for the team lead with eight points (2G, 6A) in the month of April and is also tops on the team when facing the Texas Stars. Jones has seven (1G, 6A) of his 29 points in six games against Texas this season. Jones is one of 10 Moose skaters to break the 10-goal plateau and sits one point away from reaching the 30-point mark for the first time in his AHL career.
Join the Club
Leon Gawanke recorded a goal in Sunday’s victory over the Admirals in Milwaukee. The tally was the defenceman’s 10th of the season, which makes him the second Moose defender to hit the double-digit goal plateau this season. The Moose are the only team in the Central Division to have two defencemen with 10 or more goals this season, as Gawanke, along with Johnathan Kovacevic, have registered 10 and 11 markers respectively. It’s the first time the franchise has had two 10-goal defencemen since the 2011-12 campaign when Paul Postma and Jason DeSantis scored 13 and 11 goals respectively for the St. John’s IceCaps. Gawanke sits third in team scoring with 35 points (10G, 25A) in 62 games.
Polei of the Tiger
Evan Polei scored his 11th goal of the season in the third period of Sunday’s win in Milwaukee. Polei has recorded 21 points (11G, 10A) in 60 games in his first season in antlers. That total represents a new career high for Polei who previously tallied 20 points (9G, 11A) in 53 games with the Bakersfield Condors in 2018-19. The Wetaskiwin, AB. product also has four multi-point games this season with Manitoba, which is one shy of his career high of five that was set that same season in Bakersfield.
Kristian Vesalainen is heating up as the Moose angle their way toward the playoffs. The forward recorded two assists in Manitoba’s Sunday win in Milwaukee and in the process, registered his first multi-point game of the season. Vesalainen has three points (1G, 2A) in his past two contests and is up to five points (2G, 3A) in 15 games with the Moose. The Helsinki, Finland product has 53 points (19G. 34A) in 103 games as a member of the Moose. The forward also has 70 games of NHL experience, all with the Winnipeg Jets.
The Moose celebrated a pair of AHL debuts on Sunday, April 24 when the club welcomed forwards Henri Nikkanen and Daniel Torgersson to the lineup. Both forwards tallied a shot on goal and an even plus/minus rating in their debuts. Nikkanen was a fourth round pick of the Winnipeg Jets in 2019, while Torgersson was Winnipeg’s second round selection in 2020.
C.J. Suess recorded three points (2G, 1A) in Manitoba’s 6-2 road win over Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon. The forward racked up four points (3G, 1A) in two games this past weekend. Suess has 26 points (12G, 14A) in 45 games. His 12 goals rank fourth among Moose goal-scorers, while his 26 points are 11th on the team’s leaderboard.