Manitoba Moose with Kristian Vesalainen defeats the Texas Stars 5-3
The season with the Manitoba Moose has already started for Kristian Vesalainen. His brother Henrik, who will play in the Hockey Punks in Lithuania, has postponed the season due to the elimination of the league from Elektrenai.
20-year-old Kristian was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 2017 in the first round on # 24. In the 2018-19 season, however, he came to only 5 games in the NHL, before he moved to the AHL. At the end of last season Vesalainen played the season at Jokerit in the KHL to end. This year, Kristian start a new attempt to get back into the NHL, but a strong performance is important for this goal.
Texas Stars hosted Manitoba Moose hoping for the first win of the season. It was the Canadian team that opened the score quickly in the 2nd minute of the game when Harkins defeated Oettinger. Stars‘ Bleackley didn’t wait more than 2 minutes and replied with the home team’s first goal of the season. It earned a row of lucky spectators a bag of free groceries from the local sponsor. The game was tied until 19:02 when Manitoba’s Shaw scored.
Stanley for Moose and Robertson for Stars each added a goal in the second period. Robertson’s goal was confirmed only after the video review as the goal was moved out of its place, which turned out to have happened after the puck had crossed the goal line. Bleackley added his 2nd goal and tied the game with less than 12 minutes left. Stars‘ player Kero had a one-on-one chance of scoring a game-turning goal 5 minutes later, but the puck stopped just before the goal line and the Manitoba’s goalie Berdin recovered it. Stars cheered by 5,301 fans in attendance (ok, minus 4 who cheered for Moose) pressured for the next few minutes, but it was Manitoba’s McKenzie who scored their 4th goal. The chances to tie the game again ruined Griffith scoring an empty-netter with 54 seconds left in the game. Manitoba’s Shaw became the first star of the game with 1 goal and 2 assists, Stars‘ Bleackley with 2 goals was the 2nd star and Stars‘ Robertson the third one.
At the close of the game, Vesalainen was satisfied: „It was important to win after losing in the first game and we took the chances today to win.“ It was the second defeat for the Texas Stars in 24 hours.
Texas Stars vs Manitoba Moose 3-5 (1-1, 1-2,1-1)