Pecker looks good to go

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

Cory Pecker could be going from out of the mix to right back into the fire.

As the Manitoba Moose take their first crack at ousting the regular season champion Rochester Americans from the Calder Cup playoffs, it appears the home side will be forced to make a lineup change.

Although Moose head coach Randy Carlyle wouldn't say for sure, an "upper-body" injury to Wade Brookbank has the enforcer listed as day-to-day and opens the door for Pecker to play his first game in more than a month.

"It's been real tough sitting up in the stands, especially when things are going well everybody wants to be in the lineup. If someone tells you it's easy, they're lying," said Pecker, who had one goal and two points in 12 games with the Moose this season. "You never want to see anybody get hurt but you keep skating after practice and you hope to get in. If I do, I know I'll be ready."

LATE-SEASON ACQUISITIONS

Pecker was one of two late-season acquisitions -- defenceman Danny Groulx was the other -- brought in by the Moose before the AHL clear-day roster deadline on March 17.

Pecker, picked up from the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, was used in a variety of roles in the early going but saw his playing time diminish due to the emergence of energy forward Rick Rypien, who was signed to an amateur tryout offer after completing his junior career with the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League.

It seems likely Rypien, Pecker and Jesse Schultz will make up Manitoba's fourth line tonight.

Brookbank suffered the injury early in the first period of Wednesday's game after colliding with Americans forward Daniel Paille. Brookbank was not available for comment yesterday.


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