Moose put one in win column at home
Alex Burrows scored his first career goal and Kirill Koltsov potted the eventual game winner as the Manitoba Moose defeated the Utah Grizzlies 2-1 in AHL action Thursday night.
Manitoba got the majority of chances early on, testing Utah netminder David LeNeveau on numerous opportunities.
LeNeveau had to be sharp on a close-in chance from Jeff Heerema in the opening minutes. Heerema had the puck alone at the top of the crease but LeNeveau was able to get a pad on it.
Peter Sarno had the puck on a string with about four minutes to play in the first, buzzing around the Utah zone but ended up losing a handle on it in the corner.
After one period, the Moose held a slim 12-11 margin in shots with the game still locked in a scoreless tie.
The Moose came out flying in the early part of the second period, outshooting Utah 8-2 within the first six minutes. The best chance came from the Burrows-Sarno-King line as they buzzed around the net creating chances. King had an opportunity at the top of the crease after a Sarno shot was blocked by LeNeveau but he couldn't get to the puck in his skates.
Midway through the second, Kevin Bieksa had a good chance from in close but was denied by LeNeveau. Bieksa's shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle deflected over to Sarno but he couldn't get a handle on it.
Manitoba kept coming at the Grizzlies, peppering 17 shots at LeNeveau by the 15-minute mark. They received their fourth powerplay of the night after Matthew Spiller cross-checked Ryan Kesler in front of the goal trying to move him from the front of the net.
By the end of the period, shots were 20 to 5 in favour of the Moose for the middle frame but the spectacular play of David LeNeveau kept it a scoreless draw.
The best chance for the Moose in the third period came when Alexandre Burrows swatted at the puck as it fell in front of the open cage, however the rookie was unable to get his stick on it.
Burrows rectified himself several minutes later when he ripped a blast past LeNeveau from just inside the blueline. The shot beat the Grizzlies netminder stick side. The shot was Manitoba's 40th on the night and was the first of Burrows' AHL career.
Just past the midway point of the period, Martin Sonnenberg was ticketed for holding the stick putting the Moose on their fifth powerplay of the evening.
And fifth time was the charm, as the Moose scored with the man advantage to go ahead 2-0. Josh Green flipped the puck over to Koltsov in the high slot, who ripped it glove side on LeNeveau.
In a last-gasp effort with David LeNeveau on the bench, Utah drew to within a goal. Kiel McLeod put the puck in behind Alex Auld on a rebound attempt.
But that was as close as the Grizzlies would get, as the Moose prevailed winning their first game on home ice by a score of 2-1.
NOTES: Manitoba's scratches were Kent Huskins, Jimmy Roy and Jesse Schultz... Moose defenceman Nolan Baumgartner played in his 500th career professional game, including 452 in the AHL and 48 in the NHL...
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