MacIntyre stopped 23 shots to lead the Manitoba Moose to a 4-2 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in AHL action Thursday night. MacIntyre should figure prominently for the Moose over the next three weeks following a knee injury to starter Wade Flaherty. “Drew has been coming on lately,” said Moose coach Scott Arniel. “He had won seven-of-nine going into this game and is very confident now.”
With the win, MacIntyre improved his record this season to 9-6-2.
Centre Nathan Smith led the way offensively with a goal and an assist for Manitoba (20-13-5-4). Brandon Reid, Jason Jaffray, and Shaun Heshka had the other goals while Jannik Hansen added two assists.
Duncan Milroy and Michael Lambert replied for Hamilton (22-16-1-1).
“They played us tough,” Arniel said. “We wanted to make sure that we got an early lead and we did.”
The Moose held a 2-0 lead before the game was 13 minutes old and were ahead 3-0 going into the third.
“You need to get off to a lead with these guys because they’re constantly sticking around,” Jaffray said. “They got those two goals in the third period.
“It’s one of those frustrating teams to play against because they don’t slow down. Even when (Shaun) Heshka scored and made it 4-1, they still kept on coming.”
Manitoba’s fourth win in a row lifted the Moose into a tie for first with Rochester in the North Division with 49 points apiece. The Americans, however, have six games in hand.
The Moose have earned at least one point in 14 of their last 15 games.
The Bulldogs, who have lost six of their last seven, remain in third, three points behind the leaders.
Reid opened the scoring with a power-play goal just 1:34 into the game after Hamilton defenceman Mathieu Biron was sent off for cross-checking. The diminutive centre snapped a wrist shot from directly in front and beat Hamilton goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
The Moose increased their lead to 2-0 about 10 minutes later when Jaffray scored short-handed. Defenceman Prestin Ryan raced down the left side and fed a perfect pass to Jaffray, who beat an out-of-position Halak for his 23rd goal of the season.
Smith’s ninth goal of the season at 5:48 of the second increased the Moose lead to 3-0. Hansen swept out from behind the net and slid the pick to the front of the crease, and Smith backhanded the puck along the ice and caught the far corner of the net.
Lambert ended MacIntyre’s shutout bid at 3:16 of the third when he raced across the blue-line and unleashed a hard slapshot with the puck sailing over MacIntyre’s shoulder and just under the crossbar.
Heshka restored the three-goal Moose advantage at 12:12 of the third when his slapshot from just inside the blue-line beat Halak.
Milroy got one back for Hamilton less than two minutes later with a power-play goal.
Halak stopped 21 shots for the Bulldogs.
The two teams have now split six games this season and meet again Friday night.