The Minnesota Moose traveled to Chicago, IL for their first USPHL Showcase at the Leafs Ice Center and the Canlan Ice Center. For the Moose first ever showcase, we can call it is as a success because the Moose went 3-1 on the weekend. The Moose came out on top against Palm Beach Hawks from the Florida division, Motor City Hawks from the Midwest East division, and the Richmond Generals from the Southeast Division. On Sunday, the Moose were bested by a determined Kalkaska Rhinos team 3-2 from the Midwest East Division.
Friday 10/13/17 vs Palm Beach Hawks
The Moose arrived in Chicago on Thursday evening had a great meal and got some rest prior to the 10:10am game vs a strong Palm Beach Hawks team who had only lost 1 game so far prior to the showcase. Five minutes into the first period the Moose found themselves in a hole down 2-0. The Moose settled down and went to work and scored the next 2 goals tying the game up half way through the first half. Scoring was #61 Philip DeSavva (Keays, Anderson) on the Power Play followed by another Power Play goal by #11 Josh Morrison(Krasny, Kelly) to tie the game 2-2. Not even 30 seconds later the Hawks answered back to take the lead going into intermission.
In between periods the Moose stayed calm and came out to score in the first 10 seconds of the first half with an unassisted goal by #7 Matej Krasny. They weren’t done yet scoring 2 more un answered goals by #6 Jesse Anderson( Proeh) and #61 Philip Desava(Gast) to take the lead in the game 5-3. Unfortunately for the Moose, the Hawks weren’t finished either and scored 3 unanswered goals to take the lead with 1 minute remaining in the contest.
With the goalie pulled and the Moose on their heels, Moose captain #71 Riley Keays tied up the game with a great feed from #14 Gonrowski and #61 DeSavva to the slot to take the game in overtime. It only took the Moose 1:28 into the OT to end the Hawks hope to beat the Moose with a snipe from #61 Philip DeSavva(Gast) who picked up his hat trick in the game. Picking up his first Junior Hockey win on the season in between the pipes was #30 Ben Belisle who relieved #1 Hale after the Haws second goal. Belisle had 30 saves in the contest.
Friday 10/13/17 vs Motor City Hawks
The Moose squared off vs the Motor City Hawks for their second game of the day at 7:50pm at the Leafs Ice Center. The Moose legs were still loose for the game prior and game out firing on all cylinders. The Moose peppered a strong Hawks goaltender Nathan Norkevicus throughout the game with 50+ shots in the contest, only able to bury 3 pucks. The goals scored by the Moose in the contest were #14 Nicholas Gonrowski who earned his first Junior goal and another defenseman #5 Nate Ackerman who tallied 2 goals. Picking up assists in the game were #21 Brendon Jones (2), #22 Justin Sullivan, and #52 Bryce Queary. Earning his first Junior career shutout was 2000 born goaltender from Washington #33 Jacob Fry.
Saturday 10/14/2017 vs Richmond Generals
Coming out in the game on Saturday the Moose were looking to continue their winning streak and battling with the River Kings and Blue Ox for 1st place position in standings, so this game had playoff meanings for the Moose. For the Noon square off vs the Richmond Generals the Moose chose to keep their winning ways going with a victory over the Generals 4-3. Picking up the win between the pipes vs the Generals was veteran goalie #1 Kevin Hale. *Scoring in the game is not currently available.
A team finally bested the Moose for the first time in 7 games. That team was a determined group of the Kalkaska Rhinos and a very confident goaltender. The Moose came out and outshot the Rhinos peppering him with 55 shots on net. Moose goaltender Hale saw 14 shots in the contest. The final tally of the game was 3-2 with the Moose scoring 2 goals in the last 7 seven minutes of the contest with a pulled goalie from 9 minutes until the final buzzer. The Moose tried everything they could, but Rhinos goaltender Brenden Williams wasn’t going to allow it. Scoring for the Moose in the contest were #13 Gavin Proeh and #44 Dylan Gast both unassisted.
The Moose currently sit in 3rd place in the Midwest division with 7 wins and 3 losses posting 14 points in the standings. Currently 2 points out of 1st place. This upcoming weekend the Moose will look to continue their winning ways on the road looking for 4 points. Friday the Moose will take on the Steele County Blades out of Owatonna, MN at 7:30pm and Sunday they will take on the Wisconsin Muskies out of Spooner, WI at 4pm.
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