CLEVELAND- They may not be headed to the playoffs, but the Manitoba Moose ended their season with a victory.
The Moose needed just one goal to win their regular season finale 1-0 over the Cleveland Monsters on Friday at the Quicken Loans Arena.
The game turned into all out mayhem in the second period. After getting into a fight earlier in the game, Moose forward Patrice Cormier started the melee when he went after a player in the Monsters’ bench. After the officials got in to break it up, Cormier threw his glove into the Monsters’ bench which re-ignited the fisticuffs. The pile of bodies eventually moved in front of the Moose bench. Darren Kramer, while still on the bench, grabbed Jordan Maletta and let the punches rain down. Kramer and even Moose head coach Pascal Vincent were ejected, while Cormier received two minutes for roughing and a ten minute misconduct.
A total of 71 minutes in penalties were handed out when the game was all said and done as the fighting continued even after the final buzzer had sounded.
Kyle Connor scored the game’s only goal as his 25th of the season turned out to be the difference. Eric Comrie made 30 saves for his third shutout of the season. Both teams finished the game with 30 shots on goal.
The Moose win prevented the Monsters from clinching a playoff spot with an announced attendance of 13,221 in Cleveland.
The Moose finished the season with 68 points, good for seventh place in the 8-team Central Division. It’s a slight improvement from the 61 points they gained in their first season back in Manitoba.