WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Moose have wins in three of their last four games and are playing some of their best hockey of the season.
Leading the charge in recent games have been goalie Connor Hellebuyck and forward Scott Kosmachuk, who have both ratcheted up their game after stints in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets.
Hellebuyck, 22, has been on a tear with wins in each of his last four starts. He’s allowed two goals or less in each of those games.
“So many things you can list off with the way that he helps us every single night here.” Moose head coach Keith McCambridge said. “We’re spoiled with having goaltenders like Connor and Eric (Comrie).”
“I just go out and play the same way every time.” said Hellebuyck.
Hellebuyck was called up by the Jets on November 22 after an injury to Ondrej Pavelec. He started 26 games where he posted a 13-11 record with a sparkling 2.34 goals against average. Hellebuyck was sent back to the Moose on Feb. 12 and has been one of the league’s top backstops ever since. He credited his time with the Jets for his improved play.
“Helped me a tonne. I improved a whole lot.” Hellebuyck said. “Everything got quicker, faster, more relaxed. All the main things you want to improve on, I think I did.”
“Top end prospect.” McCambridge said. “Knocking on the door of the National League.”
WATCH: Hellebuyck and McCambridge discuss the goaltenders play
Kosmachuk, 22, was returned by the Jets to the Manitoba Moose just last week. He scored three goals in his first two games back in the AHL.
“It’s nice to see him really build off that confidence with playing with the Jets.” McCambridge said.
“You look at the development at what takes place when a player gets their opportunity in the National Hockey League, and then gets sent back down to the American League. There’s even that much more jump and that more drive to get back up there.”
Kosmachuk recorded three assists in eight games with the Jets over his two week stint in the NHL.
“I feel good and confident.” said Kosmachuk. “I think that’s a big thing with me this season, just getting that confidence back and get things rolling.”
Kosmachuk leads the Moose in goal scoring with 17 goals and 11 assists in 61 games this season.
“He’s one of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous shooter we have.” said McCambridge.
WATCH: Scott Kosmachuk continues to pile up the goals now that he’s back in the AHL