The Manitoba Moose put together another impressive weekend of work in what is the beginning of the team’s final road trip of the shortened 2020-21 American Hockey League season.
After picking up nine of 10 possible points at home against the visiting Stockton Heat in a five-game series in late April, the Moose had six days off before heading to Toronto for the final battle of the season between the two storied franchises. Manitoba clearly came ready to play, despite the boost in competition that the Marlies received.
Having missed the majority of the past two months for the Toronto Maple Leafs with a knee injury, goaltender Frederik Andersen was reassigned to the Marlies for a conditioning stint that saw him face off in the crease against the Moose. Despite his track record, the big Danish backstop was unable to pick up a victory over he high-flying Moose.
Splitting Thursday’s afternoon contest with Joseph Woll, Andersen stopped 12 of 14 shots he faced in 31 minutes of action, before dropping Saturday’s game 5-4 in a shootout. Andersen did not dress in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to Manitoba.
A well-balanced attack from the Moose helped the visitors to the three-straight victories. Nick Jones had three assists in the first games, while Johnathan Kovacevic had two on Saturday. Sunday’s contest saw utter dominance from Nathan Todd, who put up a goal and two assists, while David Gustafsson also picked up two points on the night.
Although yanked in the early going on Thursday for Manitoban Cole Kehler, Mikhail Berdin bounced back for two-straight wins on Saturday and Sunday, finishing the series with 72 saves on 82 shots.
Manitoba is now 18-11-3 on the season while going 9-0-1 in its last 10 games. With four games remaining, the Moose travel to Belleville to close out the season agains the Baby Sens on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.