Wolves cut Moose loose, win West

The Chicago Wolves scored three goals in the second period and went on to defeat the Manitoba Moose, 4-1, completing a four-game sweep of the Western Conference final on Wednesday night.

Winnipeg native Lonny Bohonos had a goal and an assist for the Wolves, who will play in the Calder Cup Final for the second time in four years.

Bohonos broke a scoreless tie 3:51 into the second period, then J.P. Vigier, another native Manitoban, scored during a five-minute power play to make it 2-0.

Brian Maloney scored three seconds after the major expired to give the Wolves some breathing room.

Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves on the night, his shutout bid spoiled by Josh Green‘s ninth goal of the postseason with 2:56 left in regulation.

Alex Auld made 25 saves for the Moose.

Chicago, the top affiliate of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers, has claimed the Robert W. Clarke Trophy as the AHL’s Western Conference champions. The Wolves had already captured the John D. Chick Trophy as the AHL’s West Division champions in the regular season, amassing 105 points with a record of 49-24-5-2. Chicago defeated the Houston Aeros (4-1) and the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (4-1) before eliminating Manitoba, and will face either the Philadelphia Phantoms or the Providence Bruins in the 2005 Calder Cup Finals.

Established in 1990, the AHL’s Western Conference championship trophy honors the late Robert W. Clarke. Mr. Clarke served as the Chairman of the AHL’s Board of Governors from 1967-94, and in 1956, he played an instrumental role in the formation of the Rochester Americans, one of the most successful franchises in AHL history and themselves a seven-time recipient of the Clarke Trophy.