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Manitoba Clinches 5-4 Shootout Win Over Rochester

March 30, 2011 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Manitoba Moose News Release

The Manitoba Moose (42-27-1-5) sat tied for first in the North Division entering their game against the Rochester Americans (30-36-4-4) on Wednesday night. And while a playoff spot is the priority, first place is the goal. The Moose moved two points closer to that goal with a high scoring 5-4 shootout win over Rochester. Manitoba allowed a couple leads slip away before reaching the shootout round tied at four apiece. In dramatic fashion, Garth Murray scored the shootout winner in the seventh round while goalie Tyler Weiman clinched his 15th win of the season in front of 7,082 at MTS Centre.

Manitoba's passes were hitting the mark early in the offensive zone as the Moose put three good scoring chances on Rochester goalie Marc Cheverie before the first stoppage in play. The best chance came off the stick of Marco Rosa who one-timed a give and go play from the slot that Cheverie deflected wide.

Minutes later in the defensive end, the Moose could not seem to gain control long enough to clear the puck until play was whistled down because Moose forward Guillaume Desbiens had hooked an Americans forward in a scoring position. The Amerks went to work on the game's first power play at 6:31. By 8:31, the Moose had successfully killed off their first penalty of the game.

With just over 5:00 to go in the first period, a point shot by Moose defenceman Kevin Connauton ended up rebounding off of Rochester's goaltender and onto the stick of Jordan Schroeder. The Moose rookie fired the puck off the cross bar, keeping the game locked 0-0. Moments later P.J. Fenton took a cross-checking penalty in his own zone leading to Manitoba's first power play.

The memory of Schroeder's missed opportunity didn't last long because at 15:27, Marco Rosa used the screen of Rochester's Michael Caruso in front of the Americans net and wired a low slap shot past Cheverie for the game's first goal. Just like on Tuesday night, the Moose opened the scoring on the power play.

The trio of Moose forwards Garth Murray, Aaron Volpatti, and Rick Rypien are more likely to play the body than find the twine. But they came close to extending Manitoba's lead on the first shift of the second period when both Murray and Rypien were denied at the top of the crease on seperate chances.

Rochester tied things up at 5:49 when Mike Kostka ripped a drop pass to the low blocker side past Tyler Weiman. The high scoring defenceman scored his 14th of the season with Chris Taylor parked at the top of the Moose crease making life hard for Manitoba's 'tender.

The Americans then claimed their first lead in over 80 minutes of hockey as forward Triston Grant crashed a rugby scrum in Weiman's crease, eventually putting a stick on the loose puck and sliding it over the goal line at 7:38.

Manitoba's Cody Hodgson jumped into the rush after serving a slashing minor and picked up a pass in the neutral zone, After gaining the Rochester end, Hodgson found the trailer Mark Flood who blasted his 11th goal of the season past Marc Cheverie at 12:45.

The 2-2 deadlock only lasted until the 17:24 mark of the period because Rochester defenceman Colby Robak pinched in the Moose zone at the right time, burying a rebound to the top shelf past Weiman for his sixth goal of the season. The Amerks' three goal period ended with them leading the home team 3-2 despite being outshot 21-18 in the game.

The Moose began the third period on the power play thanks to a last minute minor to Rochester's Colby Robak that carried over. After Manitoba set up in the offensive zone, Nolan Baumgartner slid through the middle of the Amerks' PK box and one timed a pass by Jason Jaffray that beat the Amerks' goalie. Baumgartner's fourth power play goal of the season tied the game up 25 seconds into the third.

Manitoba's power play unit didn't see the bench for long after Rochester's Tim Kennedy batted the puck over the glass while in his own zone. Kennedy was called for delay of game and was sent to the box for two minutes or less, beginning at 1:27. It turned out to be less because a long point shot by Manitoba's Yann Sauve fooled Marc Cheverie at 2:40. The Moose gained their second lead of the game moving ahead of Rochester 4-3.

Continuing a parade to the Rochester sin bin, Michael Duco was called for unsportsmanlike conduct at 3:38. But Manitoba wouldn't be the ones to capitalize on the odd man situation. Rochester penalty killer Bill Thomas poked the puck loose and skated off on a shorthanded breakaway. After scoring the same way on Tuesday night, Thomas repeated the feat and snuck the puck under Tyler Weiman for a shorthanded goal at 5:02. After the flurry of goals settled, the Moose and Americans sat tied at 4-4.

The Moose tried desperately to break the tie piling 18 third period shots onto the Rochester goal. But after their two early third period markers, Cheverie shut the door and forced an extra frame.

Manitoba continued to control play beyond 60 minutes working the cycle during the four-on-four period. But few dangerous chances were produced, instead only perimeter shots that hardly challenged the Amerks netminder. The best opportunity came from a screened wrister by Marco Rosa that was denied by Cheverie.

To the shootout round, where the Moose held a record of 8-5 prior Wednesday's game. Manitoba's Jordan Schroeder scored first in the second round of the shootout before Cody Hodgson added another in the following round. The Americans then tied it up with goals by Mark Cullen and Tim Kennedy. It only added to the drama because Manitoba's surest shooter, Garth Murray, scored the winner in the seventh round on a slick backhand deke to secure the 5-4 shootout win. The Moose head out on the road and prepare for their third game in a row against Rochester. They visit the Americans on Friday night at Blue Cross Arena with puck drop at 6:35 p.m. CST. Brian Munz brings you the action live on CJOB 68. Hear it online at www.cjob.com.

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