Moose battle back

Manitoba Moose Rick Rypien (right) and Rochester Americans' Nathan Paetsch battle for the puck...

Manitoba Moose Rick Rypien (right) and Rochester Americans' Nathan Paetsch battle for the puck along the boards during AHL playoff action Monday night. (Winnipeg Sun/C. Procaylo)

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

A third-period rally and a tremendous effort from the penalty killers in the final five minutes of the game were the difference for the Manitoba Moose last night.

After falling behind 4-2, the Moose got goals from Ryan Kesler and Josh Green to send their playoff contest with the Rochester Americans into overtime in the third game of the American Hockey League North Division final.

Jeff Heerema's blast from just inside the blue-line at 10:22 of the first extra session propelled the Moose to a 5-4 triumph that gave them a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Calder Cup playoff series.

"That's just a character win, our guys kept coming and coming," said Moose goalie Wade Flaherty, who had 29 saves in his eighth start of the post-season. "We had some momentum going there and we threw a lot of shots at (Ryan) Miller and we were fortunate a couple found their way through. We battled hard."

The series resumes tomorrow night at 7:35 p.m at the MTS Centre.

Paul Gaustad opened the scoring for the Americans at 8:52 of the opening period, but the Moose responded on a power-play goal from Lee Goren at 14:03.

The Americans pulled ahead in the second on goals from Derek Roy and Nathan Paetsch.

Manitoba was having trouble mustering much offence but took advantage of a minor penalty to Jiri Novotny by scoring its second power-play marker of the contest.

Peter Sarno, who led the Moose in points and assists during the regular season, was the set-up man again and Goren delivered the goods with his league-leading seventh goal of the playoffs.

Roy scored his second of the contest and fourth of the series at 5:02 of the third, but Kesler and Green beat Miller with long shots that looked to be redirected off the sticks of Americans' defencemen.

"It's sounds like a broken record but our team has been resilient through a lot of adversity through the course of the season," said Moose head coach Randy Carlyle.

"It's major league when you can do it in the playoffs and it's not any different than what they did to us in the first game. Yeah, we found a way to win and to come back but you saw the type of hockey club they are."

A high-sticking major to Alexandre Burrows, who drew blood from Americans defenceman David Cullen in the offensive zone with 4:59 left in regulation put the pressure on the Moose penalty killers but they delivered.

"That was probably one of the better penalty kills, for five minutes, that we've had all year," said Moose centre Nathan Smith. "That changed the game right there. We know our penalty kill cost us Game 1 (with three goals against)."

On a final foray with time winding down in regulation, Kesler drove to the net and was clipped by Brandon Smith's stick.

Someone on the Americans bench lost his cool and was given an abusive language bench minor to put the Moose a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:59.

Manitoba moved the puck around but couldn't deliver a third power-play marker to end it.

But Heerema did, accepting a crisp pass from Kesler and burying his big shot.

"It's overtime, you just try to get it on net," said Heerema. "It's big. It's always nice to get an overtime winner."

The Chicago Wolves took a commanding 3-0 lead in the West Division final last night with a 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks at Cincinnati Gardens.

MOOSE TRACKS: Clarke MacArthur, who helped Canada win gold at the 2005 World Junior Hockey Championship in Grand Forks, N.D., made his professional debut last night and had an assist.


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