The Manitoba Moose have picked the right time to get hot. On Saturday, the team picked up its fifth-straight victory, this time by way of a 3-0 shutout over the visiting Stockton Heat. For a team that began the 2020-21 season with an outstanding 8-2-0 record, the Heat have collected just two wins in their past 17 games.
The struggles for the Canadian-based Heat continued in Winnipeg as the team lost its second-straight game to the Moose on Sunday. After falling 5-2 on Thursday evening from Bell MTS Iceplex, Stockton was shut out on Saturday afternoon, despite seeing goaltender Garret Sparks make 43 saves in the loss.
Eric Comrie made his return to the Moose crease on Saturday, following an extended stay on the Winnipeg Jets’ Taxi Squad. He picked up his 10th career AHL shutout, tying Connor Hellebuyck and Alex Auld for third on the franchise’s all-time list.
“From day one, and I’ve known Eric for quite some years now, and he’s just been a phenomenal person around the team,” Moose head coach Pascal Vincent said. “His work ethic is off the charts, he’s a great teammate, he has great leadership skills and he’s a great goalie. So he’s meant a lot to this organization. I mean the Moose have been around for quite some time now going back to Moose 1.0 and there was quite a few good goalies in Winnipeg playing for the Moose over that time. For him to be the all-time leader tells you quite a bit about his career.”
Another player recently sent back to Manitoba from Winnipeg’s Taxi Squad was Dominic Toninato, who scored two insurance markers after Cole Perfetti opened the scoring early on in the first period. Perfetti earned assists on both of Toninato’s goals for another three-point affair – his second in his past three games.
In turning aside all 13 of Stockton’s shots, Comrie collected his 85th career victory, moving into first place on Manitoba’s win list.
“This organization has been special to me since day one,” Comrie said post-game. “It’s been an honour to be drafted here and play for the Moose. It’s a very historical organization. I know Mark Chipman takes great pride in this organization and really treats us well and that means a lot to myself. Just being a part of this organization and being able to set a franchise record is pretty special to myself.”
The Moose and Heat go right back at it on Monday, before concluding the five-game set with matchups on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Puck drop from Bell MTS Place is set for 1:00 PM central on Monday. The next three games will be the final played in Winnipeg during the regular season as the Moose close out the year with seven on the road. Currently sitting second in the Canadian Division with a 13-11-2 record, the Moose will likely be unable to catch the 22-5-2 Laval Rocket for first place.