WINNIPEG, MB – The weather outside the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg was frigid as the north winds helped the temperature dip to -30° Celsius and the Toronto Marlies made the 7327 fans inside the rink feel like it was that cold inside as well as they handed the Moose a 3-0 loss.
It was the fifth time in 33 games the Moose were held off the score sheet.
Simply put the young squad has trouble scoring and the veteran players on the roster haven’t been good enough.
Rob Madore was in the pipes for Toronto and had to make 26 saves including 13in the opening period in which the Moose came out flying but couldn’t find any daylight past Madore’s pads. He was named the game’s first star.
The Moose had Eric Comrie in goal and he did all he could once again, but, with the lack of offensive support he receives, he needs to stand on his head every game. Friday night, he stopped 23 out of 25 shots.
The Marlies lost tough guy Justin Johnson early in the first with a lower body injury. Toronto opened the scoring in the second period as Josh Leivo found an opening past Comrie for his 10th of the season. Stuart Percy scored his 4th of the year. Ryan Rupert sealed the deal with an empty netter for his 4th of the season.
The Moose had some good chances as Ryan Olsen, Matt Halischuk, JC Lipon were all robbed at least twice each by Madore.
Nic Petan and Jan Kostalek were both back in the line up for Manitoba after being healthy scratches the last game for showing up late for the morning skate. They both saw limited action during the game.
The Marlies had Winnipegger Brendan Leipsic in the line up and he was dangerous all game long, finishing +1 and firing four shots on goal. The 2015 All Star had numerous friends and family in the crowd cheering him on.
The AHL leading Marlies improve to 28-7-2 on the year while the Moose fall to 10-18-1-3 on the year.
These same two teams will go toe-to-toe again tonight at MTS Centre.