Manitoba Loses Sixth Straight, Second Straight to Toronto
WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Moose must be getting close to reaching rock bottom. After Tuesday night’s 6-3 home loss to the Toronto Marlies, it’s hard to imagine things can get much worse.
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The Moose have now lost six straight games (0-5-1-0) and have fallen to 23-32-4-4, tied for last in the Central Division of the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs.
On Tuesday night, this one was all Toronto as the Marlies won their second straight over the Moose.
“That’s a team that will expose your defensemen, and once they get going in the offensive zone it’s a five-man cycle,” said Moose head coach Pascal Vincent. “They move well, they have good skills, they take advantage of their chances. But in front of our net we need to be stronger.”
Playing in front of 4,029 at MTS Centre, the Marlies opened the scoring at 7:47 of the first period when Kerby Rychel scored his 16th of the year but Brendan Lemieux tallied his 12th to tie it for the Moose on the power play at 10:08. Brenden Kichton and Scott Kosmachuk drew the assists.
The Marlies went ahead 2-1 on a power-play goal by Steve Olesky at 12:44 but the Moose tied it again at 14:24 when JC Lipon scored his eighth of the year from Kyle Connor and captain Patrice Cormier. The teams went to the first intermission deadlocked at 2-2.
The Marlies took control in the second period when Brett Findlay scored at 10:34 and Winnipeg’s own Brendan Leipsic notched is 12th of the year at 16:50. Lipon scored his second of the game at 19:13 from Connor and Brian Strait to make it 4-3 but Andrew Campbell scored for the Marlies at 19:46 to send it to the second break with Toronto ahead 5-3.
Frederik Gauthier scored the only goal of the third period at 9:22 as Toronto closed it out with a 6-3 win, their second-straight over the Moose in downtown Winnipeg.
“Obviously the Marlies are a good team, and they were a good team last year too,” said Moose forward Chase De Leo. “We played a really good game last game against them, and we knew they were going to come out strong and come out fast. I think it just kind of goes back to special teams and penalty trouble. We’ve got to be disciplined, and we’ve got to give ourselves the best chance to win, especially against a team like that.”
Toronto outshot the Moose 35-23. Eric Comrie made 29 saves in the
Moose net while Antoine Bibeau stopped 20 in goal for Toronto. The Marlies went one-for-five on the power play while Manitoba went one-for-four. JC Lipon’s two-goal performance for Manitoba was his first of the season. Kyle Connor has points in three straight games with a goal and five points. Scott Kosmachuk has registered a shot on goal in 30 straight games played.
The Moose play again on Friday night when the Rockford IceHogs invade MTS Centre. Game time is 7 p.m.
-Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports