May 12, 2005
Moose in commandPush Amerks to brink of elimination
By KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun
As if on cue, Mr. May struck again. As he has done so many times in his storied Manitoba Moose career, Jimmy Roy came through with an important goal at a critical time.
Roy's latest game-winner came with 3:12 left in the third -- the fifth of his eight-year career -- and gave the Moose a 2-1 victory over the Rochester Americans and a 3-1 series stranglehold in the best-of-seven American Hockey League North Division final.
The persistent forechecking of Nathan Smith and a glorious feed by Alexandre Burrows through the legs of Americans defenceman Jeff Jillson left Roy all alone and he fired a wrister over the blocker of Ryan Miller, bringing the crowd of 8,520 at the MTS Centre to its feet.
"It's a great building to be in right now, that's the loudest I've ever heard it in Winnipeg. We've got great fans and great support," said Roy, who notched his ninth career playoff goal. "I was just trying to get it away as quick as I could. Burr made a good pass to get it over, Nathan Smith created the turnover. What else can you say about those two guys?"
Burrows said the play started with a good dump-in by Tomas Mojzis.
"I saw the spot (between Jillson's legs), but I kind of got lucky I guess," said Burrows, who took a five-minute major for high-sticking late in Game 3. "I felt I had to redeem myself for last game."
Game 5 goes tomorrow night at 7:35 p.m. The Moose announced yesterday that due to the rapid ticket sales this week that the upper bowl will be opened up for the second time in the post-season and fourth time this season.
For the second consecutive game, the Americans got on the board first.
Paul Gaustad let a big shot go and Daniel Paille was quick to pounce on the rebound at 5:57.
The suddenly surging Moose power play got things back on even terms, thanks to a big blunder by Americans defenceman Brandon Smith.
Smith was feeling some back pressure behind his own goal and coughed up the puck to Lee Goren, who was waiting patiently in front and blasted his quick shot past an unsuspecting Ryan Miller.
It was Goren's league-leading eighth of the Calder Cup playoffs and was the third power-play goal by the Moose in two games after being shut out in the first two games of the series.
"We caught a break and that's what playoffs are all about," said Moose head coach Randy Carlyle. "We were fortunate enough that our goaltender (Wade Flaherty) was able to make some big stops at some key spots for us and we were able to find a way to score a goal in the third period."
MOOSE TRACKS: Moose enforcer Wade Brookbank fell awkwardly to the ice in the first period after trying to hit Paille and did not return. Americans winger Chris Thorburn went to the dressing room late in the second period and didn't return. Americans rookie Thomas Vanek sat out with what is being called a head injury, but might actually be a concussion. Vanek had his helmet knocked off in the second period of Game 3 by Moose defenceman Kevin Bieksa. Vanek sat out the first two games of the series with a groin injury.