WINNIPEG – A lack of shots prevented the Manitoba Moose (0-3-2) from picking up their first win of the season Thursday night at MTS Centre as they fell 3-1 to the Lake Erie Monsters (2-1-1).
The Moose hit the net just 18 times in the loss compared to 36 by the Monsters. The worst period for Manitoba was the second in which it only racked up two shots.
“I thought every time we were able to get the puck into the offensive zone, the ability to be strong on pucks, keep possesion or get possession back, we just didn’t have that strength to push up against their defencemen,” said Moose head coach Keith McCambridge. “I felt we just chased the puck in the offensive zone.”
WATCH: Manitoba Moose react to 3-1 loss to Lake Erie Monsters
Manitoba struck first with a Joel Armia power play goal in the back-half of the opening period. Armia wired a shot from the top of the face-off circle over the shoulder of Lake Erie goalie Anton Forsberg 11:57 into the frame. The goal is Armia’s first of the season and was assisted by Brenden Kichton.
The Monsters pulled ahead in the second thanks to a pair of goals. Snowflake, Manitoba’s Justin Falk helped set up Lukas Sedlak for the equalizer 13:45 into the period. The assist is Falk’s second point in four games this season. Lake Erie then took its first lead just 88 seconds later as the puck squeaked out to a wide-open Michael Chaput who easily put it past Connor Hellebuyck. Chaput sealed the victory in the dying seconds of the third period with an empty netter.
“You try not to look at the frustration,” said Moose captain John Albert. “You try to keep it positive on the bench as much as possible because the more you get frustrated, the more stuff like (lack of shots) happens. The second period wasn’t good but we came back stronger in the third. At least we got some shots on goal and created some scoring chances.”
Thursday’s tilt also marked Moose defenceman Peter Stoykewych’s first pro game in his hometown. The 23-year-old Winnipegger finished with two shots.
The Moose wrap up their four-game homestand with a rematch against the Monsters on Saturday night.