WINNIPEG – New Year’s Day was filled with firsts for the Manitoba Moose except in the win column.
The Moose (9-16-1-3) were unable to capture their first victory of 2016 as they fell 4-3 to the Iowa Wild (8-23-2-3) in a shootout. The loss marks Manitoba’s third in its last four games.
Darren Kramer opened the scoring 5:45 into the game with his first goal of the season. Winnipegger Kelly Zajac fed Kramer on an odd-man rush for his first point as a member of the Moose. Winnipeg Jets’ 2013 third-round draft pick Jimmy Lodge then later banged in a loose puck from Iowa’s doorstep for his first career AHL goal.
The Wild made it a 2-1 game before the first intermission as Kurtis Gabriel’s shot from the slot fooled Moose goalie Eric Comrie. Kramer picked up his first ever Gordie Howe hat-trick in the AHL by fighting Gabriel with a little more than a minute left in the frame.
Both teams traded goals in the second period with Manitoba scoring the first 8:46 into the frame. Patrice Cormier tipped in a John Albert shot for his fifth of the season. Iowa responded in the final minute with a Tyler Graovac power play goal.
Former Moose defenceman Maxime Fortunus forced extra time by burying the equalizer 8:21 into the third period. Graovan and Zack Mitchell both scored in the shootout for Iowa while Manitoba was unable to capitalize on every one of its attempts.
The Moose continue their season-high eight-game homestand Sunday afternoon when they face Grand Rapids. The Griffins come into Winnipeg having won 16 of their last 18 games.