Feb.12 2017 CLEVELAND OH –
Two very similar teams that are young, very skilled, and have great skating abilities went toe to toe this weekend as they put on various displays of fast-paced, hard-hitting hockey at the Quicken Loans Arena with some fantastic goaltending between two of the top young goalies in the AHL.
On Friday night the Monsters jumped out early on the power play as Markus Hannikainen got his 10th of the year to give the home squad a 1-0 lead.
Just before the period ended, some great work from the Moose Captain Patrice Cormier led to a Manitoba tally as he jammed home a rebound from a Kyle Connor shot to put in his sixth of the year and square things at 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.
The Captain continued his scoring ways as he converted a pass from JC Lipon to bat home his second of the game and seventh of the year for a 2-1 lead.
The momentum stayed with Manitoba but they couldn’t find the back of the net again as Joonas Korpisalo slammed the door shut to give his team a chance to stay in this one.
Dillon Heatherington made a cheaky move on his backhand that beat Eric Comrie to tie things up at 2-2.
In the third period, the goalies were the stars as the Moose had a litany of great chances but Korpisalo was on top of his game as was Comrie in the Manitoba net.
After a wild overtime that saw the best chances fired wide of the nets, these two went to a shootout where Connor scored for the Moose, but Oliver Bjorkstrand and Daniel Zar beat Comrie and gave the Monsters a 3-2 win.
Sunday’s game was a bit more of the same although Cleveland had the better of the chances during most of this game as Comrie was his calm self, always in the right spot to make the shots he faced look routine.
Scott Kosmachuk gave the Moose an early lead as he ripped a low rocket past Korpisalo for his eighth of the season, a power play marker to give the road squad a 1-0 lead.
Comrie made 13 saves in the opening 20 minutes for the Moose.
This game featured lots of defensive play and the neutral zone was the place to be as it was a struggle to move the puck deep for both squads.
The fourth-ranked Cleveland penalty kill had to work extra hard after Brett Gallant was ejected and given a five-minute major for his head shot on Manitoba forward Quinton Howden. The Moose had a couple of chances but the Monsters killed this one off with no damage.
Cleveland finally capitalized on a chance as Jordan Maletta snuck his seventh of the season past Comrie to knot things at 1-1.
These two were headed for their third straight overtime game against each other.
After a late penalty kill and another scoreless extra frame, the two teams would head for yet another shootout.
After both teams scored on their opening shot it came down to Manitoba’s Dan DeSalvo who slipped one past Korpisalo to give the Moose a 2-1 win and a split for the weekend.