“(MacIntyre) made some key saves, some quality stops for us,” said Moose coach Scott Arniel. “He was real solid. He’s a big reason we’ve had success on this road trip and this year.”
Forwards Brandon Reid and Nathan Smith scored in the first period and defenceman Yannick Tremblay added a goal in the second for the Moose, in front of 3,964 fans at
Ricoh Coliseum. Right winger Colby Genoway collected two assists, while Reid also collected a helper for a two-point game.
“We got the lead early and we didn’t sit back, but we didn’t have too much in the way of quality shots after that,” Arniel said. “But we found a way to pull it out, found a way to finish off the game.”
“Our work ethic has been our staple, and to have different people step up every night has been important, too.”
Left winger Colin Murphy provided the lone marker for the Marlies.
“We need to capitalize on our chances,” said Marlies coach Greg Gilbert. “We weren’t outchanced by a ton, it was pretty close.”
The game did not feature many scoring opportunities, and the Moose took control by grabbing an early lead and then preventing the Marlies from establishing any sustained
pressure in the offensive zone.
“We did a lot well,” Gilbert said. “In the second and third periods, we started playing well. But we had a slow start, we weren’t moving our feet, and they capitalized.
“It’s a 60-minute game and you can’t ease into it. That’s something we have to work on.”
The Moose, which moved into first place in the North Division with the victory at 32-17-11, have beaten the Marlies in all four meetings between the two teams this
season. As well, Manitoba improved to 7-0-1 lifetime at Ricoh Coliseum. The clubs have four more games against each other this season, all in Winnipeg.
“We’ve worked hard, pushed hard, to get to the top of the division,” Arniel said. “Now we’re going to push to get to the top of the (Western) Conference.”
The Marlies fell to 23-30-6 with the loss, and need to quickly turn things around in the final seven weeks of the regular season if they hope to qualify for the playoffs. Toronto, with a 9-18-3 record at home this year, was 10 points out of a playoff spot entering last night’s action.
“We’ve got to refocus and dictate our own fate,” Gilbert said.
Toronto goalie Justin Pogge made 17 saves on 20 shots. The Marlies rookie goalie had little chance on any of the Moose’s goals, all of which came on deflections or
“We’re going to play the guy who gives us the best opportunity to win,” said Gilbert of his goaltending platoon of Pogge and Jean-Francois Racine. “Right now, Justin is
doing that. In the future, we’ll see who’s working hard and playing well and go from there.”
Manitoba, which had a nine-game winning streak snapped in a 3-0 loss at Syracuse on Saturday, was 0-for-6 on the power play. Toronto went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
The Moose led 2-0 after the first period and 3-0 through 40 minutes.
Manitoba opened the scoring on a bang-bang play early in the first period, when Genoway centred pass from behind the net that Reid was able to chip over Pogge at 2:00. And Smith gave the Moose a 2-0 edge when he drove to the net and deflected Jason Jaffray’s pass over Pogge’s glove at 13:11. Manitoba also hit three goalposts in the opening frame as the visiting side carried the play.
Toronto had a chance to close the gap when Brett Englehardt was awarded a penalty shot late in the first period, after being hauled down while on a breakaway by Moose defenceman Shaun Heshka. But the big Marlies left winger missed the net when he tried a backhand deke against MacIntyre.
The Moose went up 3-0 early in the second period when Tremblay one-timed Genoway’s pass over Pogge’s left shoulder at 1:17. To that point in the game, it was just the eighth shot on Pogge, who was coming off a shutout on Saturday (3-0 against Rochester).
Toronto got on the board early in the third period when Murphy scored from a bad angle at 1:23. The left winger picked up the puck in the left corner and slid a shot along
the goal line that found a hole between MacIntyre’s leg and the goalpost.
The next action for both the Marlies and Moose is back-to-back games in Winnipeg on Friday and Saturday.