The Manitoba Moose are, for the sake of a better term, rollin’.
Fresh on the heels of a lengthy four-game postponement, the Winnipeg Jets’ American Hockey League affiliate rebounded rather quickly following the extended holiday break.
The extra time off certainly played a large part in the Moose picking up points in four-straight games following the layoff. Entering the break at a respectable 15-9-1, Manitoba actually had lost its previous two games before COVID shut down game operation prior to Christmas.
With no game action from December 17 to January 2, the Moose came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. Going 3-0-1 over the team’s first four games after the break, Manitoba lost its only point of the stretch by way of a 3-2 shootout loss at home in the second matchup of a two-game homestand with the visiting Iowa Wild.
Beating Iowa 2-1 last Sunday, the Moose received goals from Declan Chisholm and Todd Burgess, while seeing Evan Cormier shut the door on all but one Wild shot. On Tuesday, Manitoba battled back to tie the game 2-2 in the third period on goals from Jeff Malott and Johnny Kovacevic, but ultimately fell in the shootout.
The Moose then visited Texas for two games with the Stars. Manitoba put up four goals in a 4-1 victory on Friday, including two from Austin Poganski and singles from Malott and Nick Jones. Cormier stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced.
Then, in dramatic fashion, the Moose beat the home team 5-4 the following day on a last-second game-winner from Haralds Egle. Manitoba relied on nine different scorers, while once again receiving a strong performance from Cormier in net.
Currently sitting at 18-9-1, Manitoba is now second in the Central Division behind just the Chicago Wolves. The Moose will now travel to Grand Rapids this coming weekend and then head out to Iowa before returning home for a six-game set the following weekend.
The AHL has also announced that two of the games that Manitoba missed due to the extended holiday break will be made up in February. The Moose will now face the Stars in Texas on February 7 and 9. The two postponed contests with the Abbotsford Canucks have yet to be rescheduled.