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Locked And Loading Up

April 4, 2011 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Manitoba Moose News Release

There's something about playing in front of a national audience that seems to bring out the best in the Manitoba Moose. For the fourth time this season, the Moose played and won on CBC. As the Moose wrapped up a busy five-game week on Sunday with a record of 3-1-0-1, they also locked up a berth in the 2011 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. Manitoba's 3-2 win in Toronto clinched a playoff spot marking the seventh straight season that the Moose have punched their ticket to the post-season.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011: Manitoba 3, Rochester 2 In just one shift, Jason Jaffray reminded Moose fans what he had done so well during his previous years in Manitoba. Jaffray scored 95 goals in 263 games for the Moose between 2004 and 2009. Jaffray, who recently returned to the Moose, scored early in the first period of his first game this season as he deflected in a pass by Marco Rosa. Manitoba relinquished a pair of one goal leads but scored their third and deciding goal with less than a minute remaining when Bill Sweatt netted his second goal of the game.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011: Manitoba 5, Rochester 4 (SO) Manitoba's power play went two for six on Tuesday night and was firing again on Wednesday accounting for three of four goals by the Moose in regulation. Manitoba opened the scoring on the man advantage with Marco Rosa firing his third goal in four games. The Moose and Amerks led on separate occasions during the game but required a shootout to determine a winner. Garth Murray scored the shootout winner in the seventh round before Tyler Weiman stoned Rochester's final shooter.

Friday, April 1, 2011: Manitoba 1, Rochester 4 It's difficult to beat a team in three straight games. It's even more difficult to win the third game when that team goes up by two goals early. The Moose could not recover after goalie Eddie Lack was beaten by Rochester twice on three shots early in Friday's game. The Amerks scored twice more staking a 4-0 lead before the game's halfway point. Marco Rosa broke Rochester goalie Marc Cheverie's shutout bid with an early goal in the third period. It was Manitoba's only offensive output in a 4-1 loss.

Saturday, April 2, 2011: Manitoba 2, Hamilton 3 (SO) Manitoba needed a two-point effort to lock up a playoff spot but the Hamilton Bulldogs made sure that task would not come easily. Hamilton winger Nigel Dawes, the AHL's leading goal scorer, counted his 39th and 40th goals of the year against the Moose. Manitoba needed a goal from their leading scorer to force overtime with Sergei Shirokov scoring at 18:01 of the third period. Dawes scored again in the shootout but this time the Moose didn't have an answer as Hamilton's Drew MacIntyre stopped all five Manitoba shooters.

Sunday, April 3, 2011: Manitoba 3, Toronto 2 Sunday's game played out very similar to Manitoba's last game in Toronto on Feb. 27/11. This game was also broadcast live on CBC, and just like last time Moose goalie Eddie Lack was nearly unbeatable. Lack stopped the Marlies on 39 of 41 shots on Sunday while Sergei Shirokov, Cody Hodgson, and Marco Rosa supplied the offence in Manitoba's 3-2 win. With the win, Manitoba clinched their seventh straight berth to the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs.

Moose Notes

PLAYOFF HISTORY: The Moose have now qualified for the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs in seven straight seasons. Yet to be determined is which seed Manitoba will enter the playoffs as. The Moose currently hold top spot in the North Division and have qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs as a no. 1 seed twice before. Once in 2007 when they reached the second round before losing to Hamilton in six games, then again in 2009 reaching the Calder Cup Final and falling short against the Hershey Bears. Aside from 2009, the only other time the Moose have advanced beyond the second round was in 2005 when they were swept by the Chicago Wolves in the conference finals.

ROSA ROLLING: Moose centre Marco Rosa has been the team's hottest player since returning to the lineup on Mar. 25. Rosa has scored 10 points (5g, 5a) in seven games since then and scored the game winning goal on Sunday when the Moose clinched their playoff spot. Rosa's best performance of the past week came on Wednesday when he recorded three power play points (1g, 2a) helping Manitoba to a 5-4 shootout win over Rochester.

WRAP IT UP: The Moose play one more home series before the conclusion of the 2010-11 regular season. Manitoba has a strong record when closing out the season at home. The Moose have gone 7-3-0-0 in season ending home series including a sweep of the Peoria Rivermen to end 2009-10. Manitoba last hosted Hamilton to end the season in 2003-04 when the Moose and Bulldogs split a pair of games.

Upcoming Opponents

Vs. Bulldogs - Apr. 8 & 9 - 7:30 p.m.

With a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs locked up, the goal for Manitoba is to maintain their first place seed in the North Division. One of two teams contesting that position is the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Moose and Bulldogs will battle at MTS Centre in their final two regular season games this weekend setting up what could be a season deciding series.

Player of the Week Nominee

Marco Rosa

Centre Marco Rosa led all Moose players with seven points (3g, 4a) in a busy five-game week... Rosa returned from a 29-game absence because of injury on Mar. 25 and has 10 points (5g, 5a) in seven games since then... Rosa scored the game winning goal on Sunday in Toronto which clinched a playoff berth for the Moose...

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American Hockey League Stories from April 4, 2011

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