Fast Facts: Moose at Rockford – Jan. 27By: Manitoba Moose Staff | Published: January 27th 2024
The Manitoba Moose open the second half of the AHL regular season tonight in Rockford against the IceHogs (7 p.m. CT). It's the sixth of eight meetings between the teams this season, and the first of a trio of games between the clubs over the next 10 days. Both teams seek to shrug off losses from their outings on Wednesday with the Moose falling to the Chicago Wolves and the IceHogs dropping a decision to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Coverage of tonight's 7 p.m. CT matchup begins at 6:45 p.m. CT on CJOB.com/sports, the Winnipeg Jets App and AHLTV. Tonight's game is an AHLTV Freeview in celebration of the AHL's 50,000th game being played tonight.
The Moose elected to combine their top three producing forwards on the same line on Wednesday. It was the first time this season Nikita Chibrikov, Brad Lambert and Jeff Malott all started the game in the same trio. It was also the first game 20-year old rookies Lambert and Chibrikov had linked up on the same line to start the game. Malott has started on the same line as Lambert 26 times this season, and six games with Chibrikov. The trio combined for nine shots on goals, with Lambert and Malott each recording four shots. Despite having not been a regular line at five-on-five, the three linked up for two power play goals this season on Nov. 18 and Dec. 23. Spending time on the power play together has led to plenty of cross-over between the three. Chibrikov and Lambert pace the Moose with 13 and 12 goals respectively. Of the 25 tallies, Jeff Malott has an assist on nine of those goals including seven primary helpers. Meanwhile, 18 of Lambert, Chibrikov and Malott’s combined 34 goals on the season have involved an assist from one of the other two.
Hitting the Road
The Moose embark on a five-game road swing beginning with tonight’s game in Rockford. The trip helps the Moose play some catch-up on the rest of the league, having played the least amount of road games in the AHL at 16. Manitoba is in the midst of a run that ssees the club play 12 of 16 games on the road. The Moose opened the stretch 0-3-0-0 on a trip through Eastern Canada. Manitoba holds a 7-9-0-0 record on the road this season. Nikita Chibrikov leads the Moose with seven goals on the road and is tied with Brad Lambert at 13 points away from Canada Life Centre.
C.J. Suess appeared in his 200th career Moose game on Wednesday night against Chicago. Suess is the 40th player in Moose history to appear in 200 games with the club. The forward, Winnipeg’s fifth round selection in 2014, has posted nine points (5G, 4A) in 34 games this season for Manitoba and is in a three-way tie for ninth in team scoring. The Forest Lake, Minn. product also has three game-winning goals to his credit, which leads the squad and is one shy of matching his previous career-high that was set in the 2019-20 campaign. Over his Moose career Suess has registered 92 total points (50G, 42A). The winger has 114 overall points (60G, 54A) in 246 AHL contests split between San Jose and Manitoba.
Jeffrey Viel posted an assist against Chicago on Wednesday. The Rimouski, Que. product has recorded 13 points (5G, 8A) in 33 games, and is one of two Moose skaters to tally a four-point contest this season. The winger has notched 106 career AHL points (50G, 56A) in 245 contests split between the San Jose Barracuda and the Moose.