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Moose on brink of conference finals with 3-1 win

MANITOBA 3, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Manitoba jumped to a 2-0 lead after the first period and held on for a 3-1 road win over Grand Rapids on Monday in Game 3 of the North Division Finals at Van Andel Arena.

Alexandre Bolduc scored the game-winning goal and now has a tally in all three games of the series, which the Moose now lead by a 3-0 margin.

Matt Pope gave Manitoba a 1-0 lead at 8:06 of the opening period with his second goal of the playoffs, and Bolduc extended the advantage to 2-0 at the 19:28 mark.

Bolduc now has three goals and five points through the first three games of the series after posting two points in three games played during the Moose’s first-round victory over Toronto.

Grand Rapids rookie Francis Pare netted his second goal of the series at 12:29 of the middle period to pull the Griffins within one score, but they could not get the equalizer over the second half of the game.

Jason Jaffray, who assisted on Pope and Bolduc’s goals, scored one of his own into an empty net in the game’s closing minute to seal the victory.

Moose goaltender Cory Schneider earned the victory with 22 saves on 23 shots, surrendering just one goal for the third consecutive game to begin the series. Schneider has stopped 71 of 74 shots over the three contests.

Manitoba, which has now captured six straight wins overall, will go for the series sweep and a spot in the Western Conference Finals when Game 4 faces off on Wednesday in Grand Rapids.

North Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
N1-Manitoba Moose vs. N3-Grand Rapids Griffins
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Game 1 – Fri., May 1 – MANITOBA 2, Grand Rapids 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 2 – MANITOBA 2, Grand Rapids 1
Game 3 – Mon., May 4 – Manitoba 3, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Game 4 – Wed., May 6 – Manitoba at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Fri., May 8 – Manitoba at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sun., May 10 – Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 7 – Tue., May 12 – Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 8:30