AHL Game Recap: Manitoba Moose vs Toronto Marlies (03/29/2024)

Thomas Milic, Manitoba Moose vs Toronto Marlies, March 29th. Photo via Manitoba Moose website // Captured by Jonathan Kozub

The Manitoba Moose welcomed back the Toronto Marlies to the Canada Life Centre on Friday, March 29th for the final game of a two-game series. The Moose prepare to hit the road as they continue their push for the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Moose’s two-game road trip sees them continue their all-Canadian battle against Abbotsford. The Moose will be back at the Canada Life Centre for their final home game stretch of the 2023-24 season.

Did you miss the game? Don’t worry! We have you covered with this game recap!

Rough and Tumble First Period Sees Marlies Edge Out Moose 2-1

It seemed in the early going of the game that Manitoba was going to run away with the game as they dominated by leading the shots category 5-0. However, Toronto would ramp up the intensity countering with five shots of their own to tie the shots category. Toronto played with extreme patience and continuously applied pressure to the Moose which allowed for the game to mostly be evenly split in the first eight minutes.

While the Marlies would jump ahead with a 10-8 lead in shots, the physicality was ramping up. Both teams were hitting hard and playing intensely, but the Moose would claw back to lead 17-13 in shots.

While shots are a good thing, the Marlies would lead 2-1 at the end of the period. A power-play goal by Zach Solow with one second left on the interference call to Kristian Reichel put the Moose in a hole they needed to crawl out of. The Moose did just that, a bomb from the point by Dawson Barteaux was sent right into traffic and Parker Ford managed to tip it to redirect the puck. The Moose wouldn’t have this lead much longer as Logan Shaw spoiled the Moose party to put the Marlies back up 2-1 just 29 seconds later. The tension became more prominent as both teams jawed at each other as they left the ice for intermission. Down a goal, the Moose needed to strike early if they wanted to halt the Marlies’ momentum.

Weird Second Period Capped by Moose Tying Up the Game 3-3

The Manitoba Moose started the second period oddly, down 2-1 and it would later become 3-1 as Max Lajoie took advantage of the Moose pushing a Marlies player into Thomas Milic. This was not called back as the referees deemed nothing wrong with the play. 34 seconds into the second period and the Moose were now down two goals.

However, Henri Nikkanen answered back almost immediately when he scored his sixth goal of the season just 28 seconds after Lajoie’s goal. The period was filled with a lot of “what could have been” moments, but nothing is as haunting as Marlies forward Alex Steeves having a wide-open net and drilling the post. Milic’s best friend came in handy for the rookie Moose netminder and the entire Moose team.

This proved to be a pivotal moment in the game as the Moose got their second power play of the period, one that they finally found the back of the net on. Kyle Capobianco sent a bomb through traffic that Dennis Hildeby attempted to stop, but it squeezed through his arm and into the back of the net. What could’ve been a 4-2 game from Steeves turned out to be a 3-3 tie that Manitoba jumped all over.

Heading into the third period, Manitoba was rolling with momentum as they applied pressure in all three zones and moved the puck far more carefully. The Manitoba Moose took a bad situation from Tate Singleton running into Thomas Milic for the insurance marker early in the frame and made it their motivation to tie the game up. Without a doubt, the upcoming third period was a thriller waiting to unfold.

Golder Scores First Career AHL Goal to Win Game for Manitoba

The third period wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the first two. Thomas Milic faced his fair share of shots on goal and so did Dennis Hildeby. If there was anything that needed to work in favour of the Moose, they needed a lead and did they get what they were hoping for.

Carson Golder, who has spent time between the Manitoba Moose of the AHL and the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL, scored the game-winning goal just 2:46 into the third period. The lone goal of the final stretch was also Golder’s first career AHL goal. Winger Daniel Torgersson also helped build the play significantly as he got the pass off to Golder who would bury his first AHL goal.

While the Marlies got a late power play opportunity, the Mooke penalty kill unit came up big time as they shut down the Marlies power play. The momentum swung firmly in the Moose’s favour as they chipped away to erase a 3-1 deficit and defeat the Toronto Marlies 4-3 in regulation. More notably, the Marlies walked away with only two points out of this series while Manitoba got three.

At the time of writing, Manitoba has nine games remaining in the 2023-24 season and sits with a nine-point lead over the Iowa Wild in the Calder Cup Playoff race. Manitoba is only three points behind the Texas Stars who sit fourth in the Central Division Standings.

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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