No more streaking

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

The drive for five came to a crashing halt as the Manitoba Moose offence came up with another dud.

On the flip side, the Rochester Americans were sound defensively, scored a pair of power-play goals and added an empty-netter to earn a 3-1 victory over the Moose in American Hockey League action last night at MTS Centre.

AMERICANS 3 MOOSE 1

Despite showcasing excellent play in their own zone of late, especially during a four-game winning streak, the Moose haven't done much offensively -- which was apparent during the opening 20 minutes last night.

"We generated zero chances in the first. Nothing," said Moose head coach Alain Vigneault, whose club has managed seven goals in the past five games. "I believe we've got a better offensive team than we've shown the past two games here."

The Americans got a fortunate bounce on the first goal as an intended pass caromed in off the skate of Moose defenceman Tomas Mojzis. Scott Sheppard got credit for the goal.

Just over three minutes into the second period, Moose centre Alexandre Bolduc sneaked behind the defence for a breakaway before he was stoned by Americans goalie Jean-Marc Pelletier.

Midway through the frame, Rochester had a glorious opportunity to extend the lead, but they were unable to convert on a two-man advantage that lasted 75 seconds.

Buoyed by the solid penalty killing and one shift after hemming the Americans deep into their zone for an extended period of time, the Moose found a way to even the score.

Moose forward Jozef Balej, who has been moved to centre from the wing the past few games, dumped the puck in behind the net, and it was mishandled by Pelletier.

Jason Jaffray stole it and found Jesse Schultz all alone in front of the net. Schultz, who had gone six games without a goal, made no mistake, burying his 17th of the campaign -- though it was just his second in 15 contests after a blazing start.

But Matt Hendricks found an opening in the high slot and buried a one-timer for the eventual game-winner at 8:24 of the third period, and Chris Thorburn, who finished with a three-point night, added an insurance marker into an empty net with 8.8 seconds remaining.

"It was a frustrating night," said Moose goalie Wade Flaherty, who made 19 saves. "They play a defensive system, especially when they get the lead. You could see it. Guys were squeezing the sticks a little bit, and we couldn't get another one past their goalie."

MOOSE TRACKS: Rookie defenceman Brett Skinner returned to the lineup last night after competing for Canada at the Spengler Cup, splitting time between forward and defence.


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