MANITOBA 5, HOUSTON 2
Manitoba struck for three goals in a 6:49 span during the first period and cruised to its ninth straight win, a 5-2 decision over Houston on Saturday before 9,736 fans at the MTS Centre.
Goaltender Cory Schneider made 28 saves in net for the Moose, who took a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals.
Manitoba has matched its longest winning streak from the regular season, as the Moose also captured nine consecutive victories from Oct. 17 to Nov. 7.
Jason Krog gave the Moose a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the game, and Michael Grabner tallied his first of two goals on the night just 3:07 later. Raymond Sawada extended the lead to 3-0 at the 17:49 mark, and Manitoba was well on its way to victory.
Cody Hodgson, who picked up an assist in his professional debut in Friday’s Game 1, tallied his first career AHL goal 1:55 into the second period to make it a 4-0 game. Grabner tacked on another marker at 4:37.
The Aeros held a 17-9 edge in shots during the second period and finally got on the board when defenseman J.P. Testwuide scored his first professional goal at 7:25, and Marco Rosa brought Houston within 5-2 at 19:50.
The teams played a scoreless third period, as Houston’s dangerous power play was held without a goal on seven opportunities for the night. Manitoba went 2-for-8 with the man advantage.
Schneider has surrendered either one or two goals in all nine games of the Moose’s winning streak, and the Baz Bastien Award winner has not let in more than two tallies since giving up three in Manitoba’s playoff opener on Apr. 15.
The Aeros will look for answers when the series shifts to Houston for Game 3 on Monday and Game 4 on Wednesday.
N1-Manitoba Moose vs. W3-Houston Aeros
Game 1 – Fri., May 15 – MANITOBA 2, Houston 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 16 – MANITOBA 5, Houston 2
Game 3 – Mon., May 18 – Manitoba at Houston, 8:05
Game 4 – Wed., May 20 – Manitoba at Houston, 8:05
*Game 5 – Fri., May 22 – Manitoba at Houston, 8:35
*Game 6 – Mon., May 25 – Houston at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 27 – Houston at Manitoba, 8:30