Fast Facts: Moose vs. Milwaukee – Division Semifinals Game 1By: Manitoba Moose Staff | Published: April 28th 2023
The Manitoba Moose (37-25-6-4) and Milwaukee Admirals (41-24-5-2) open their Central Division Semifinals series tonight at Canada Life Centre. It's the second straight season the teams clash in the best-of-five series. Milwaukee claimed last year's five-game thriller with a 2-1 win in the decisive game. The Moose posted a 4-2-1-1 record against the Admirals this season and finished third in the Central Division. Milwaukee wrapped the campaign second in the division. For more on the series, check out our Central Division Semi-Finals Preview.
Tickets for tonight's game are available at MooseHockey.com/TICKETS. Fans are encouraged to wear their playoff whites as they cheer the Moose on. Coverage of this evening's series-opener begins at 6:30 p.m. CT on 680 CJOB, the Winnipeg Jets App and AHLTV.
Manitoba’s focus shifts over to the playoffs, where the Moose face the Milwaukee Admirals for the second year in a row. In terms of AHL playoff experience across their roster, the Moose boast 74 total games. Leading the way is winger Evan Polei, who has produced four points (3G, 1A) and one game-winning tally in 15 games. Ranking second on the squad is defenceman Ashton Sautner. The rearguard has appeared in nine contests between the Utica Comets and Abbotsford Canucks. Moose captain Jimmy Oligny rounds out the top trio with eight games under his belt and notched three assists over that span.
About Last Year
The 2023 Central Division Semifinals marks the second time in as many seasons Manitoba and Milwaukee meet in the series. The Admirals won the hard-fought 2022 series in five games. The Moose began the series with a pair of one-goal losses in Milwaukee. The series shifted to Manitoba for the final three contests, where the Moose scored wins of 5-2 and 7-3 to force a decisive game-five. Jusso Parssinen and Tommy Novak scored for the Admirals, while Morgan Barron replied for the Moose. A total of 17 Moose skaters from the 2021-22 series remain on the current iteration of the squad.
When Manitoba and Milwaukee met in the 2021-22 Calder Cup Playoffs, three Moose defensemen finished in the top five of Moose scoring. Declan Chisholm led all skaters in the series with seven points (2G, 5A) over five contests. Ville Heinola ended up third on the Moose with five points (1G, 4A), while Leon Gawanke marked four points (1G, 3A). The trio kept rolling into the 2022-23 regular season where Gawanke finished ninth among AHL defenders with 45 points (20G, 25A), Chisholm ranked 15th with 43 points (5G, 38A) in 59 games and Heinola was 26th among blueliners with 37 points (4G, 33A) in 48 games.
The Moose lineup features four 20-goal scorers for the first time since the 2013-14 season, when the team operated as the St. John’s IceCaps. Jansen Harkins (25), Jeff Malott (23), Leon Gawanke (20) and Alex Limoges (20) all reached the mark this season. The group accounted for 38.8 percent of all Moose goals this season. They combined for 13 game-winning goals throughout the season. Harkins is the first Moose player to tally 25 goals and 25 assists since Buddy Robinson during the 2017-18 campaign. The team also featured a player with 19 goals as Dominic Toninato recorded a new career high in 50 games.
Alex Limoges ended the season with a two point performance (1G, 1A) in an overtime loss to Chicago. Limoges, who inked a one-year entry-level contract with Winnipeg in 2022, ended the campaign as Manitoba’s leading scorer with 54 points (20G, 34A) in 63 contests and notched four game-winning tallies.