Moose meltdown

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

It was looking like the first step on the road to bridging the gap.

But with a couple of third-period strikes from Mark Mancari, the Rochester Americans stunned the Manitoba Moose 3-2 before a crowd of 6,027 at the MTS Centre last night.

With the loss the Moose fall to 10-11-3-2 and fall 10 points behind the Americans in the battle for top spot in the American Hockey League's North Division.

"It's definitely unacceptable," said Moose forward Jason Jaffray. "We play 50 minutes of a great hockey game. The tying goal was some indecision on where we should be on the draw, which we should know. And the winner is just timing. There are mistakes all over the place and we need to cut those out, especially in the last 10 minutes of the game.

"We played such a good game against one of the best teams in the league and then we just throw it away. This is a team that we have in our sights right now."

In the waning moments, the Moose had a glorious opportunity to force overtime but Mike Brown's rebound shot rattled off the post.

"I was ready for it and everything," said Brown, who had the puck land on his stick after Americans goalie Craig Anderson made a pad save on Jaffray. "The puck was spinning but it went off my stick hard. It went right under him and hit the post. It's terrible."

Moose head coach Scott Arniel was happy with the effort from his team, but felt empty with the result.

"They didn't steal any momentum," said Arniel. "They got a 2-on-1 with two minutes to go and they won the hockey game. End of story."

Arniel didn't think his team sat back in an effort to try and protect the lead.

"We battled as hard as we could," said Arniel. "All losses are tough to swallow, but yeah we knew in the standings how close we were. We've battled to catch these guys and that was one where we had them and it got away from us."

Patrick Coulombe and Brandon Reid had power play goals for the Moose, while Clarke MacArthur replied with a power play marker of his own.

On the winning goal, Michael Ryan feathered a pass to Mancari, who beat Wade Flaherty with a quick shot with 1:56 to play.


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