By Carter Brooks
Photo by Mark Newman
It was in the bag, and then it wasn't.
The Manitoba Moose held the lead of a very low-scoring American Hockey League game into the dying moments of the third period Wednesday evening, but then as fate would have it, they squandered their potential victory with two ill-advised penalties, costing Manitoba the game.
In going up against the Grand Rapids Griffins Wednesday, the Moose picked up the first goal of the game very late into the second period, as Skyler McKenzie beat Harri Sateri in the form of a wrist shot with just a minute-and-a-half to go in the frame.
Manitoba held that 1-0 lead for the next 20 minutes, until penalties ultimately cost them the game. With both Peter Skoykewych and Tucker Poolman in the box, Grand Rapids pulled Sateri for the extra attacker. Filip Hronek scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season just one minute apart on the power play, single-handedly giving the Griffins the victory.
Eric Comrie worked a near-perfect game, faltering in the final two minutes. He stopped 30 of 32 shots he faced in the contest, while Sateri made 20 saves on 21 Moose shots. Tucker Poolman and Kristian Reichel drew the assists on McKenzie's fifth goal of the season.
It was the second time in six games that the Moose lost to the Griffins 2-1 on the road, as Manitoba travelled to the Van Andel Arena on Wednesday, January 23rd, where they fell to the host team in a high-shooting overtime game. The Moose have now lost five of their last six games, and sit dead last in the Central Division with a 20-21-5 record through 46 regular season games.
Manitoba will now look to right the ship as the Moose begin a six-game homestand on Saturday, hosting back-to-backs with Texas, Chicago and Milwaukee before hitting the road to Toronto on Wednesday, February 20th. Manitoba faces off against the Texas Stars on Saturday evening at 6:00 P.M. central, before starting over at 2:00 P.M. against the same Stars on Sunday afternoon. Tickets are still available to all six upcoming home games.