Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Antler Banter: Season 1, Volume 51

This will be the last Antler Banter of the 2015-16 AHL season! Unfortunately for AHL fans, the season has come to a close with the final two games being played by the Moose this past weekend. For Moose fans, the games were played away from the confines of MTS Centre as the Moose finished their season on the road in Texas with games against the Rampage and Stars. If there were silver linings on this season, the Moose won 25 games to this point of the season after failing to reach ten wins until 2016. We saw some outstanding performances from goaltenders Eric Comrie and Connor Hellebuyck, and there were breakout seasons for Brenden Kichton and Chase De Leo. The season, though, has come to an end, so let's start cleaning out the locker here on Antler Banter!

The Games

The Moose rolled into San Antonio having taken two games from the Rockford IceHogs, so there were aiming for a three-game win streak. The Moose were already 3-0 against the Rampage so a season sweep was also on the line! The home side, though, jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period before the Moose sprung to life! Scott Kosmachuk scored his 19th goal on the power-play, Jansen Harkins notched his first goal, and Jimmy Lodge potted his first goal in a 4:22 span at the end of the period to stake the Moose to a 3-2 lead through 40 minutes. Lodge wasn't done there, though, as he added a pair of goals in third period to complete the hat trick and give the Moose the 5-2 victory! Connor Hellebuyck had a rather quiet game with 18 saves for the win while Reto Berra took the loss. With the win, the Moose improve to 26-40-4-5!

It was onward for Game #76 as the season would end for the Moose after the game on Saturday. The Moose entered the game against the Texas Stars with an 0-2-1 record on the season against the Stars, so the Moose were looking to erase that goose egg in the win column. Unfortunately, the Moose found themselves trailing 3-0 late in the third period before Dan DeSalvo broke the shutout with his fifth goal of the season at 16:35. An empty-net goal would seal the win for the Stars, though, as they skated to the 4-1 win. Jack Campbell earned the win while Eric Comrie suffered the loss. The Moose finish the season with a 26-41-4-5 record.

That's All, Folks!

No player moves or injuries to report because the Moose are off for the summer at this point! They'll do their exit interviews, clean out their lockers, and meet with the media still, but there are decisions to be made. Will the Jets take a closer look at their development club after this season's 28th-overall finish? Does head coach Keith McCambridge get a new deal? Do they need to fill a void as the team had nothing to show for a veteran leader?

There were some nice additions to the Moose roster at the end of the season who I'd like to see come back. Dan DeSalvo was a great find as a centerman, Jake Baker was a nice find for the blue line, and Jansen Harkins was a great addition very late in the season. There will be many evaluations as the players cycle through the locker room, so we'll see what September holds for this team once again.

Thanks for tuning into Antler Banter for the last 51 weeks! As always, I'll evaluate these weekly pieces moving forward, but for all those that read the weekly Moose report on HBIC, I thank you for your readership!

Until next season, keep your sticks on the ice!

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