So much for easing Jordan Schroeder back into the lineup.
As the prized rookie prospect returned after missing 16 games with a high-ankle sprain, Schroeder made his impact felt immediately as he scored on a nifty tip-in during a Manitoba Moose power play.
The end result was a 3-2 shootout loss to the Abbotsford Heat, but Schroeder certainly did his part, racking up a game-high 25:05 of ice time.
“It felt pretty good, I didn’t really fell any soreness or anything so that was a good sign,” said Schroeder, who has six goals and 14 points in 26 games this season. “It’s quick out there when you haven’t been out there for awhile. The legs felt a little heavy toward the end of the game but that will come with time.”
As for the goal, Schroeder was in the high slot during the power play and defenceman Mark Flood made a perfect play to find him.
“It was a good play by him, that’s something we try to work on in practice — the high tip,” said Schroeder, who hadn’t played since Dec. 10. “He saw my stick on the ice there and it happened to go in.”
Head coach Claude Noel thought Schroeder did a nice job in his first game back.
“I thought he would have a little more rust and would be a little more cautious,” said Noel. “He played pretty good. He managed the puck decent and he made some plays.”
Noel admits he wasn’t planning to play him that much.
“That’s a lot for the first game (back),” said Noel. “The score dictates a lot of times what you’re doing.”
ROSA UPDATE: Moose centre Marco Rosa will be out indefinitely after suffering an injury to his right knee in the third period of Friday’s game.
Rosa was involved in a knee-on-knee collision with Heat forward Lance Bouma, who was given a minor penalty on the play.
Noel didn’t want to go into specifics, but did say Rosa would be out several weeks.
“It’s going to be more long-term than short, at least a couple of weeks and probably longer than that,” said Noel. “He’s not gone for the year, no.”
Rosa has seven goals and 23 points in 42 games this season.
THE OWN GOAL: Moose goalie Eddie Lack showed plenty of accountability after Friday’s game.
Lack felt horrible after playing the puck right into his own goal after stopping a shoot-in from Cam Cunning.
“I wanted to play it and I was trying to drag my stick back over the puck and I accidentally hit the puck,” said Lack. “(Stuff) happens and you just have to bounce back afterwards.”
Lack’s teammates were quick to come to his defence.
“That happens and it’s part of the game,” said Flood. “Eddie has been outstanding for us all year and he’s bailed us out a lot of times. He can allow a hiccup like that and that’s when we’ve got to put him on our back and pick him up. He’s strong mentally, so he bounced back and I thought he was good after that.”