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Berdin Leading the Way for Resurgent Manitoba Moose

If it weren’t for some bad scheduling luck, the Manitoba Moose would be boasting back-to-back AHL Player of the Week award winners.

Photo by James Carey Lauder

Berdin Leading the Way for Resurgent Manitoba Moose

Moose netminder Mikhail Berdin had himself one heck of a ‘week’. If you consider the time period from Thursday, November 7 to Monday, November 11 the measuring stick, the 21-year-old goaltender would have easily picked up the American Hockey League’s Player of the Week award from teammate Jansen Harkins – who had been recognized by the league for his high-scoring performance the following week.

However, the league considers the stretch of time dating from Sunday to Sunday as the assessment period, so Berdin, unfortunately lost out to Milwaukee’s Daniel Carr. Following an ‘okay’ start to the 2019-20 AHL season that saw the Ufa, Russia native pick up just three wins in his first nine outings, Berdin turned his season right around, in as dramatic of fashion as one could imagine.

Things appeared to have hit a boiling point for the Winnipeg Jets’ sixth round selection (157th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft on November 6 in Milwaukee, as the backstop was yanked from Manitoba’s net after allowing five goals on 31 shots through just two periods of play. Berdin – who seemingly took the pull in stride – has bounced back with three-straight victories, including back-to-back shutouts for the Moose.

After stopping each and every one of the 67 shots he faced this past Friday and Saturday in road contests with the Rockford and Chicago, respectively, Berdin returned home and shut the door on 33 of the 34 pucks directed his way in Manitoba’s 4-3 victory over the Texas Stars.

Combining to save 100 of 101 total shots over his past 180 minutes of hockey, while owning a 154 minute shutout streak for the majority of the weekend, the second year AHL pro is now 6-6-0, while boasting a 2.34 goals against average and a .927 save percentage on the season. After splitting the 2018-19 season between the Moose and the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen, Berdin has cemented himself a Manitoba’s No. 1 tendy between the pipes, and potential Jets’ goaltender of the future with Eric Comrie having been lost on Waivers to the Arizona Coyotes.

The always entertaining backstop almost gave fans at Bell MTS Place another reason to cheer, as he shot a puck the length of the ice and just wide of the empty net in an attempt for his first career AHL goal in Monday’s 4-1 win over Texas. Reigning AHL Player of the Month Jansen Harkins put the finishing touches on the Stars with an empty netter of his own (and second goal of the game) as he continued his personal six-game point streak. Much like Harkins, Moose defenceman Sami Niku is also on a six-game point streak of his own.

The now 6-8-0 Moose will continue their four-game homestand with the second of two games against the Texas Stars, before taking on the San Antonio Rampage twice this coming weekend. Both the Wednesday and Friday evening games will begin at 7:00 PM central, while Saturday’s contest against San Antonio will go at 2:00 PM. All games are available live on AHL TV.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com.

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