The Minnesota Moose were in action for two games this past weekend. The first was a showdown with the second place Minnesota Blue Ox on Saturday night and then a Sunday afternoon tilt with the Steele County Blades in Blaine. With the season coming near the end, the Moose needed all the points they could get.
The Moose traveled to neighboring Coon Rapids to take on the Minnesota Blue Ox in a one versus two match up. This game would end up being a tooth and nail battle, like most of their games together. The first period did not see any goals and it wound up taking until nearly the middle of the second period before we would see some goals. The Blue Ox struck first, but the Moose would answer with a power play goal from captain Riley Keays just two and a half minutes later. Defenseman Nicholas Gonrowski put the Moose up for the first time with about six minutes left in the period. The period did have some goals, but was mostly marred by penalties. Five sets of coincidental minors were called in the second period alone. The Moose extended their lead with a goal from Matteo Menotti to make it 3-1. The Blue Ox would get a late power play goal to close the gap to just one goal, but a Jake Peterson empty net goal would seal it. Bronson Moore continued his impressive run with the Moose by stopping 33 of 35 shots to get the win. It was the second weekend in a row that the Moose would beat the Blue Ox in their own building.
The Moose had a quick turnaround and hosted an afternoon game against the Steele County Blades. This game had a playoff feel as it was the 1 seed versus the 8 seed as it stood on that day. The Blades looked very tenacious early on and came to play. Both goalies were sharp all game long, with Vinny Capezza for Steele County and Bronson Moore for the Moose. The game was deadlocked until Brendon Jones crashed the net and came away with the games first goal. Just six seconds later Jesse Anderson ripped off a wrist shot that blew past Capezza to quickly make it 2-0 Moose. The goal frenzy at the end of the first period kept going, this time with a penalty shot. Matt Krasny slipped one through the five hole of Capezza to give the Moose a 3-0 lead at the first intermission. Krasny added a short handed goal in the second period, which ended up being the only goal of the second period. Tanner Booth stopped the Moose goal parade and broke up the shutout bid for Moore with a Blades goal with just under seven minutes to go in the third period. Both teams would add a goal before it was over to settle on a 5-2 final and another two points for the Moose. Both goalies faced a good amount of shots with Capezza stopping 48 of 53 shots and Moore stopping 40 of the 42 shots he saw. Both teams also combined for 23 penalties.
The first place Moose are back in action this coming weekend, welcoming the Dells Ducks to Blaine for a Friday/Saturday series. Puck drop will be 7:10 PM on both nights. There are only three home games left in the season, so come on out!