It seemed like only moments ago that goaltender Mikhail Berdin and the Manitoba Moose were an unstoppable force in the American Hockey League’s Central Division. Winners of seven-straight and nine of their last 10, the Moose were the hottest ticket in the AHL.
Fast forward one week from Manitoba’s most recent victory (2-1 over Belleville on November 20th) and the Moose have found themselves on the receiving end of three-straight losses with a 10-11-0 record and just a .476 winning percentage.
Berdin, 21 – who had previously gone seven games without giving up more than two goals – has now lost three-straight contests, while maintaining a 3.67 goals against average and stopping just 67 of 78 shots he faced. The two-plus game shutout streak from the AHL’s Player of the Week two weeks prior seems like a long forgotten memory. Yes, it has been quite the disappointing turnaround in Manitoba.
After beginning their seven-game road trip with a victory in Belleville last Wednesday, Manitoba dropped back-to-back contests with the Marlies in Toronto (4-2 Saturday and 4-1 Sunday) before being doubled up 6-3 by the Milwaukee Admirals 6-3 on Wednesday evening in Wisconsin.
Milwaukee jumped ahead to a 2-0 lead midway through the opening period on back-to-back strikes by Rem Pitlick and Yakov Trenin, before adding another two goals in the middle frame (Alex Carrier and Trenin X2). Seth Griffith – who returned to the Moose lineup after missing three games – found the scoresheet twice, contributing a goal in the second period, before adding an assist on Andrei Chibisov’s fifth marker of the season early in the third period.
The Admirals added two more goals in the final period of play, one on the power play (Eeli Tolvanen) and one while shorthanded (Tanner Jeannot). Manitoba found the twine with just 23 seconds to play as Skyler McKenzie scored a power play marker for the Moose late in the game.
After putting up just 24 saves on 28 shots, Mikhail Berdin is expected to get a night off to recover as Manitoba continues its road trip with three more stops on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday in Grand Rapids, Chicago and Rockford, respectively. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM central for each of the three upcoming Central Division contests. Each game can be viewed live on AHLTV.