Moose get much-needed win in AHL final
Jason Jaffray's hat trick, including the game-winner with 47 seconds left in regulation, propelled the Manitoba Moose to a 3-1 victory over the Hershey Bears in Game 2 of the Calder Cup final on Tuesday night.
The best-of-seven American Hockey League final is tied 1-1, with the next three games taking place in Hershey. Game 3 will take place on Saturday, with a game also the following day.
Jaffray added an empty-netter with 10 seconds left, before a crowd of 14,737 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
The forward, who played 14 games with parent club the Vancouver Canucks the past season, now has nine goals in 18 AHL playoff games.
The game's first goal at 12:31 of the first period was a slick one by playoff scoring leader Alexandre Giroux, who scored a hat trick for Hershey in the series opener.
The Bears left-winger took his second straight breakaway and skated down the side and then at an angle toward Moose goalie Cory Schneider.
When it looked like Giroux was going to the right side of the net, Schneider followed him, but Giroux stopped in the crease and flicked the puck around Schneider on the empty left side.
It was Giroux's 13th goal of the playoffs and his 24th point. He also had a league-leading 60 goals and 97 points in the regular season and was named AHL most valuable player.
Manitoba evened it up on the power play 7:59 into the second when Jaffray had the puck come across the crease toward him and he just barely had room to flip it between the post and Bears rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth.
The Moose outshot the Bears 14-4 in the middle frame, but still didn't look like the polished squad they've been throughout the playoffs.
Hershey had two power plays in the third period, but couldn't capitalize because of some bad bounces and sharp stops by Schneider.
The final three minutes had the crowd roaring as both sides took turns with close calls.
Manitoba is looking for the franchise's first championship in its 13-year history. It joined the AHL in 2001 after five seasons in the former International Hockey League.
The storied Hershey franchise has won the title nine times, most recently in 2006 under Bruce Boudreau, who jumped to the team's parent club, the Washington Capitals.