Now one third of the way through the 2020-21 season, the Manitoba Moose are returning home for an AHL record 17-game homestand, set to begin on Monday from Winnipeg.
After beginning the season by splitting a four-game homestand against the Toronto Marlies, the Moose ventured out on the road for what was supposed to be a four-game road trip against the Laval Rocket. The AHL schedule maker had other ideas as the remaining 28 games of the season were released while the team was in Quebec.
The four-game-in-six-nights roadie turned into an eight-game, three-city, two-week trek out east that saw the club once again put up an even wins/losses ratio, finding itself sitting at 6-6-0 on the season through the first 12 games.
Now returning home for 17 games, the Moose will no longer be hosted out of the familiar confines of Bell MTS Place, but rather the team’s training facility of Bell MTS Iceplex, as all home contests have shifted to the Iceplex moving forward as a way of reducing potential contacts at both venues.
Leading the way for Manitoba is AHL points leader Nathan Todd. With five goals and 13 points in 12 games, the second year Moose forward is putting up career numbers in the early going this season. Already at a +10 with two game-winning goals, a power play marker and a career-high 17.2 shooting percentage, Todd is finding success all over the ice.
With points in all but two of Manitoba’s games this season, the 25-year-old forward has spread out his points quite evenly, owning just two multi-point games and one multi-goal outing. He had a nine-game point-scoring streak (four goals, eight assists) snapped on Friday, before responding on Saturday with a goal and an assist in Manitoba’s 6-2 victory over the Belleville Senators.
In that game, the Moose power play went four for five, capitalizing on four separate occasions, helping Manitoba to a compelling four-goal victory, despite being outshot overall in the contest. Belleville’s Filip Gustavsson did not fare particularly well, stopping just 22 of 28 shots, while Mikhail Berdin shut the door on 29 of the 31 pucks he faced in the win.
Jeff Mallot let the way for Manitoba with two goals and four points, while defenceman Ville Heinola scored his third goal of the season in the victory. Both David Gustafsson and Haralds Egle each recorded multi-point outings. Former Brandon Wheat Kings forward Cole Reinhardt picked up an assist for the Senators.
The Moose now begin a four-game set with the Stockton Heat on Monday, before beginning extended series with Laval, Belleville and Stockton once again during the nearly two-month homestand at Bell MTS Iceplex. Puck drop for the first three games of the homestand is set for 6:00 PM central.