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Jaffray scores three as Moose win, even Finals at 1-1


MANITOBA 3, HERSHEY 1

Jason Jaffray scored two of his three goals in the third period as Manitoba rallied past Hershey for a crucial 3-1 win in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals on Tuesday before 14,737 fans at the MTS Centre, tying the series at a game apiece. Jaffray wristed home the game-winner for the Moose with just 47 seconds left in regulation.

The 27-year-old Jaffray then completed his hat trick with an empty-net power play tally in the closing seconds. Jaffray, who entered the game with six goals in 17 postseason contests, registered his first three-goal effort since Nov. 15 vs. Toronto.

It marked the second consecutive Finals game featuring a hat trick, as Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux potted three scores in the Bears’ 5-4 overtime triumph to open the series on Saturday night.

Giroux picked up where he left off in Game 2, giving Hershey a 1-0 lead 12:31 into the contest with his league-leading 13th goal of the playoffs. The AHL MVP picked up a pass from Graham Mink on the left wing and beat Moose goaltender Cory Schneider on a partial breakaway.

The Bears nursed that advantage into the first intermission, marking their first lead after the opening period since also holding a 1-0 edge after 20 minutes in Game 7 of the East Division Finals against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on May 12.

But Manitoba evened it up on the power play midway through the second frame, as Jaffray tallied his first of the night at 7:59. The Moose held a 14-4 shots advantage during the second period but could not put another puck past Hershey goaltender Michal Neuvirth in the stanza.

The Calder Cup Finals seemed destined to begin with consecutive overtime tilts for the first time since 1998 before Jaffray’s heroics in the closing minute of regulation sent the Moose fans home happy.

Michael Grabner picked up an assist and had a game-high seven shots on goal for the Moose, and Schneider stopped 27 of 28 shots in the winning effort.

Deadlocked at 1-1, the series will now shift to central Pennsylvania and Giant Center for the next three contests. After three days off, the Bears will host the Moose for back-to-back games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, and Game 5 is set for next Tuesday night.

2009 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
N1-Manitoba Moose vs. E1-Hershey Bears || Preview
Game 1 – Sat., May 30 – Hershey 5, MANITOBA 4 (OT)
Game 2 – Tue., June 2 – MANITOBA 3, Hershey 1
Game 3 – Sat., June 6 – Manitoba at Hershey, 7:00 ET
Game 4 – Sun., June 7 – Manitoba at Hershey, 5:00 ET
Game 5 – Tue., June 9 – Manitoba at Hershey, 7:00 ET
*Game 6 – Fri., June 12 – Hershey at Manitoba, 8:30 ET
*Game 7 – Sun., June 14 – Hershey at Manitoba, 8:30 ET