WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Moose were back at the MTS Centre for the first time in three weeks after being on the longest road trip of the season. They were hosting the San Jose Barracuda for a two-game weekend series.
The Barracuda who sit in second place in the Pacific Division and in sixth place overall in the West were looking for four points this weekend.
The Barracuda proved to be way too much for the young Moose in the opener on Friday night as they used a very strong special teams game to cruise to a 4-1 victory on the strength of three power play markers including a pair from John McCarthy, his 8th and 9th of the year.
The lone Moose goal came off a nice redirection from Quinton Howden, who scored his 10th of the season.
This was a fast paced game where both teams were exchanging chances until the Barracuda took control in the second period.
Moose goalie, Eric Comrie stopped 36 of 40 shots.
All-Star, Troy Grosenick stopped 25 of 26 in the San Jose goal.
In game two on Saturday, the Moose went toe-to-toe with the Barracuda but found themselves down 4-1 after 40 minutes before showing some real character with a never say die attitude and battling back to make it 4-3, but eventually lost 5-4.
Jamie Phillips made his AHL debut in the pipes for the Moose and stopped 34 of 38 shots taking the loss.
Grosenick made 36 saves to get his 2nd win of the weekend for the Barracuda.
Moose got goals from Pete Stoykewych (his 4th), Kyle Connor (his 7th and 8th), and Howden (his 11th).
The Moose played really well against one of the better teams in the AHL and should use this as a stepping stone to continue their chase for a playoff spot although it will be an uphill battle now.
Manitoba heads out on the road for another long trip starting out in Grand Rapids, Michigan against the Griffins on Wednesday night.