After chasing the Hamilton Bulldogs for so long, Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel is curious to see how his club will fare now that they’re on even footing entering Game 5 of the North division final Friday night at MTS Centre (7:30 p.m./Cover it Live).
"I think our A-game is going to be on the horizon tonight....I hope," Noel told reporters after the Moose morning skate.
The Moose fell behind 2-0 in the series, but clawed back with two straight wins at home – the latter a 2-1 double-overtime victory in Game 4 on Wednesday where Manitoba’s Guillaume Desbiens tied the contest with just 2:02 left in regulation.
Mario Bliznak scored the overtime winner midway through the second overtime period.
Now Noel is hoping his charges can find a way to keep the momentum going in Game 5, before the series returns to Hamilton for Game 6 on Sunday.
"We have to take the bull by the horns, and start of the game by showing we want to will the game on the other team," he said. "It might not happen, but that’s how we need to start.
"It’s going to be interesting. They’re going to come with something. There’s going to be some tactical stuff (on the Bulldogs’ part) in the first period, I would think.
"That could have been a demoralizing loss for them," the head coach added. "I don’t think it will show up too much, but it will be curious to see if we can take ahold of this thing (Game 5) in the first period, the demoralization may come back in them. Because they lost that game in the last two minutes of regulation, then in overtime."
It appears as though the Moose won’t be lacking for support. Over 7,800 tickets have already been sold for Game 5, with the possibility of a lower bowl sellout.