WINNIPEG, MB - The Manitoba Moose have now lost four straight at home.
By percentage, they’ve also fallen out of first place in the American Hockey League’s Central Division.
On Friday night in front of 6,032, Winnipeg’s own Adam Brooks had a goal and an assist and was the game’s second star as he led the visiting Toronto Marlies to a 3-2 win over the Moose.
It was Manitoba’s fourth straight loss – all four have come at home in just a week – as they fell to 39-23-4-4 on the season. They are still one point ahead of the second-place Chicago Wolves in the American Association’s Central Division, but the Wolves lead by nine percentage points and have two games in hand.
Sami Niku, the game’s first star, opened the scoring at 8:37 of the first period with his 15th of the season from Nic Petan (37th assist) and Michael Spacek (20th assist), but Toronto tied it before the end of the period on a goal by Dmytro Timashov.
In the second, Brooks scored his sixth of the year at 7:22 on the power play, but Manitoba’s Brody Sutter tied it at 13:48 with his sixth of the season.
But at the 19:35 mark of the third period, Brooks set up Chris Mueller with the winner as the playoff-bound Marlies improved to 49-18-1-1 and became the first team in the AHL to reach the 100-point plateau.
Once again, special teams had a lot to do with the outcome. The Moose went one-for-three on the power play while the Marlies were two-for-five. Once again, a lot of time shorthanded for the Moose.
Toronto outshot Manitoba 28-27. Winnipeg’s Calvin Pickard made 25 saves in the Marlies net to get the win. Michael Hutchinson made 25 saves in the Moose and took the loss.
The Moose have three more at home on this eight-game homestand (1-4-0) and then will finish the AHL schedule on the road at Cleveland and Chicago. The Moose play again on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Bell MTS Place, once again against the Marlies.
Photos by James Carey Lauder