It was yet another bad start for Keith Kinkaid, and it cost the Rocket a chance at moving up in the standings.
Kinkaid was left in net for five goals against the Manitoba Moose in a 5-1 blowout loss Sunday afternoon. The Rocket now only have one win in their last four games. The goaltender has lost three straight starts and allowed five goals against for the second time as a member of the Rocket.
The visiting Rocket entered Sunday’s game with a chance to sweep the Moose in their weekend series. The team could also move into third place in the North Division, bypassing rivals Toronto and Rochester.
Instead, the Rocket failed to take advantage of Rochester and Toronto’s losses. Laval ended the day on the outside of the division’s top four, tied on points with the Marlies but trailing in terms of points percentage.
Laval found themselves down 1-0 in the first period when Andrei Chibisov gave the Moose an early advantage. The Rocket couldn’t get in front of the Moose despite having more shots on net, leading 13-6. By game’s end, Laval had outshot Manitoba 41-23, but the Moose led where it mattered.
The second period is where Laval ultimately lost the contest by allowing three goals, including a short-handed and power-play marker. C.J. Suess, JC Lipon, and Michael Spacek scored to make it 4-0 for Manitoba just before the midway mark of the game.
Laval’s lone bright spot came from a Josh Brook power-play goal in the dying seconds of the second period. Forward Phil Varone found Brook, who had no problem burying his chance past Mikhail Berdin for his fourth of season. Brook had gone his last seven games without a point before scoring Sunday.
Alas, that was as close as the Rocket got. Manitoba would add a fifth goal courtesy of Cole Maier to put the game fully out of reach.
Final score: Manitoba 5, Laval 1
The Rocket have three more games, all against North Division teams, before the AHL All-Star break from Jan. 27-29. They’re set to practise Tuesday morning before playing the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday evening at Place Bell.