WINNIPEG, MB – After suffering a tough loss on Saturday night, the Manitoba Moose came back tonight in the rubber match and grinded out a 2-1 home ice win over the Charlotte Checkers.
The Moose, who have been depleted by injuries and call ups this season, are playing the role of spoiler as they handed the Checkers a big loss in there chase to lock down the final playoff spot in the AHL’s Western Conference race.
Connor Hellebuyck continued his strong play in the net for the Moose, stopping 26 of 27 Charlotte shots and collecting his 10th win of the season. He was named the game’s second star.
Scott Kosmachuk led the Moose, scoring both of the game’s goals. He has been on fire since being returned after a stint with the Jets, scoring goals in five straight games. Kosmachuk was dangerous all game as he led the Moose with five shots on goal and had four hits.
Ben Walker was buzzing all game for Manitoba, having a pair of big hits and getting into a tussle with Charlotte’s David Wohlberg. Though it doesn’t show on the stat line, Walker has filled in nicely in the Moose line up since being recalled from Tulsa, adding a physical presence to the Moose lineup.
The Checkers got their lone goal early in the first off the stick of their captain, Derek Ryan. For Ryan, it was his 23rd of the season. After the Ryan goal, Hellebuyck shut the Checkers down the rest of the way.
Earlier Monday, goalie Jussi Olkinuora was recalled from Tulsa to fill in for the injured Eric Comrie who is day-to-day with a lower body injury.
The Moose will travel to Iowa for two games on Wednesday and Friday, before returning home for there final home stand of the season, which begins next Tuesday.