The Manitoba Moose earned both points against a visiting Rockford IceHogs team from Bell MTS Place Sunday afternoon. Manitoba relied on early scoring and strong netminding to do the job, winning 3-2 in a matinee showdown.
On the heels of news that goaltender Eric Comrie had cleared Waivers and would be joining the Moose, Manitoba had another exceptional performance from Mikhail Berdin between the pipes Sunday. The 21-year-old Russian stopped 30 of 32 shots he faced, en route to his 15th win of the season. In the process, Berdin improved his save percentage to .913 and goals against average to 2.89 on the season.
Johnathan Kovacevic and Skyler McKenzie led the way offensively for Manitoba, each earring two points in the victory. Along with Kovacevic, Kristian Reichel and Michael Spacek also picked up goals in the affair.
The visitors scored the game’s opening goal, as Tyler Sikura found his ninth of the season on a Rockford power play midway through the first period. With just over one minute to play in the opening frame, Kovacevic scored a power play goal of his own, finishing off a JC Lipon-Skyler McKenzie passing play.
Reichel and Spacek scored early second period tallies for Manitoba, before Rockford put the final goal of the game past Berdin with 9:06 to go in the middle stanza. A minimal shot total in the third period led to a lack of offence, with the Moose earning the 3-2 victory over their Central Division opponent.
With the win, the Moose now improve to 16-18-0 on the season, and will look to do it all over again against the same IceHogs Tuesday in the annual New Year’s Eve afternoon contest. Puck drop between Manitoba and Rockford is slated for 4:00 PM central. The game can be viewed live on AHL TV.