Manitoba Drops Decision to Cleveland
The Manitoba Moose (28-37-5-5) and Cleveland Monsters (39-28-4-4) clashed in the opener of a two-game set at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The Moose got off to a quick start, breaking the ice 4:34 into the first period. With Manitoba applying pressure, the puck found JC Lipon in the faceoff circle and he snapped a shot past Anton Forsberg. Eric Comrie put on a show at the other end of the ice, making a couple highlight reel stops to keep the Moose in front 1-0 after 20 minutes. The Moose penalty kill went 2/2 in the opening frame.
Jansen Harkins got the second period started off right for the Moose. Harkins scored goals 17 seconds apart to have the Moose in front 3-0 by the 1:10 mark of the second. That score held until 8:46 into the period when Alex Broadhurst got Cleveland on the board with a power play goal. The Monsters didn't stop there, getting two more power play markers from Dean Kukan and T.J. Tynan to get the game tied 3-3 at 12:42 of the period. Two minutes later, Joe Pendenza gave the Monsters their first lead of the night, one-timing a Sonny Milano cross-crease pass to the twine. The Moose stopped the run with 56 seconds left in the period when Kyle Connor knocked in a rebound on his backhand to send the game to the third, tied 4-4.
Manitoba nearly grabbed the lead on a shorthanded chance early in the frame. Kyle Connor sent Jack Roslovic in alone, but the Moose leading scorer's shot rang off the crossbar. A couple minutes later, at the 8:34 mark, Markus Hannikainen accepted a drop pass in tight and was able to bury the puck past a sprawling Comrie for the 5-4 Cleveland lead. The Moose put the full press on late, but Anton Forsberg stood on his head in the final moments, including a post-to-post save to help Cleveland take the 5-4 win.
- The Moose opened the scoring for the fifth straight game.
- Jansen Harkins notched his first career multi-goal game.
- JC Lipon had a three-point night, reaching the 30-point mark for the second straight year.
- Game attendance was announced at 7,498.
The Moose and Monsters close the book on the regular season tomorrow night at Quicken Loans Arena in a 6 p.m. CT matchup. Tune in to the final game of the season on TSN 1290 and at moosehockey.com/listenlive starting 15 minutes before puck drop.
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