Power play comes to life

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Randy Carlyle called and the Manitoba Moose power play answered.

After going 0-for-9 in the first two games of the American Hockey League North Division final with the Rochester Americans, the Moose rode their power play to take a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series.

The Moose got a pair of power-play markers from Winnipegger Lee Goren to get to overtime and set the stage for Jeff Heerema to score in overtime to win it at 10:22 of the first overtime.

"When you have the ability those players that play in that position and the number of opportunities they do get, it's rare you're going to hold them off the scoreboard for an extended period of time," said Carlyle, whose team was 0-for-2 with the man advantage before striking last night. "They were due or overdue at this point. It was one of those situations where Peter Sarno found Lee Goren and Lee Goren has a knack for putting the puck in the net."

Perhaps more important was the job done by the penalty killers, who allowed one goal in the second period but killed off three others, including a high-sticking major to Alexandre Burrows with 4:59 left in regulation time.

The Moose had the fifth-best power-play efficiency rating during the regular season, but had endured their struggles during the Calder Cup playoffs.

In the opening round against the St. John's Maple Leafs, the Moose were 4-for-34 but three of those goals turned out to be game-winners.

"Even though our power play has scored a couple of big goals, we've let teams back in games by not finishing them off on the power play," said Sarno, who had two assists. "Tonight we made some adjustments, we moved the puck a lot better and had two goals to show for it.

"They play a very aggressive penalty kill, which is very tough to counter."

VANEK RETURNS: Americans forward Thomas Vanek was hoping to make his first appearance in the American Hockey League North Division final a memorable one.

Instead, the Rochester Americans rookie finished the game in the trainer's room after receiving a stiff open-ice hit from Manitoba Moose defenceman Kevin Bieksa late in the second period.

Vanek didn't come out for the third.


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