Toronto Beats Manitoba 5-4
WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Moose have apparently lost the ability to figure out the best way to win hockey games. No matter how well they play, no matter how close they keep the score, they are in a slump and there is no reason to believe they will climb out of it anytime soon.
Sunday afternoon in front of a terrific crowd of 8,458 at MTS Centre, Kerby Rychel had two goals and an assist as he led the Toronto Marlies to a 5-4 win over the Moose. Despite plenty of good scoring chances and a pair of power play goals, the Moose lost their fifth straight game (0-4-1-0) and fell to 23-31-4-4, good enough for seventh in the American Hockey League’s Central Division.
It was Retro Jersey Day for the Moose as they looked resplendent in their old green and white IHL uniforms. Sadly, the new/old tops didn’t change the outcome. Although things started out pretty well.
At just 2:23 of the first period, Nelson Nogier scored his second goal of the season as Ryan Olsen drew his third assist of the year and the Moose had a 1-0 lead. Then after, after Toronto’s Mike Sislo tied it at 3:37, the Moose jumped ahead 2-1 as Brandon Tanev scored a power play goal at 15:38 from Brendan Lemieux and Scott Kosmachuk.
But Toronto wasn’t done. Brett Findlay tied the game for the visitors at 17:54 and the two teams went to the first intermission deadlocked at 2-2.
Toronto took the lead at 2:57 of the second period when Rychel scored his first of the game and 14th of the year, but the Moose tied it at 5:32 when captain Patrice Cormier scored his 11th of the season on the power play from Kevin Czuczman and Kyle Connor.
However, after being deadlocked 3-3 through the first 40 minutes, the Marlies took over in the third. William Wrenn scored at 7:00 to give Toronto a 4-3 lead, then Olsen scored his fifth of the year for the Moose at 10:08 to tied it up at four.
But Rychel scored his second of the game and 15th of the year at 12:25 and that held up as the winning goal.
Toronto outshot the Moose 28-27, 10-5 in the third period, when the Marlies played a high-tempo, urgent style. Toronto went one-for-three on the power play while the Moose were two-for-six. Both Antoine Bibeau for Toronto and Eric Comrie for Manitoba made 23 saves.
The Moose and Marlies will go at it again on Tuesday night at MTS Centre. Game time is 7 p.m.
Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photos by James Carey Lauder