Jaffray looking beyond 30

KEN WIEBE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

TORONTO -- This was another example of how Jason Jaffray is developing as a player.

Jaffray, who leads the Manitoba Moose in goals, fired his 29th of the season in Sunday's 3-0 victory over the Rochester Americans in impressive fashion, combining grit, speed, strength and scoring touch.

It began with a shot block, continued with Jaffray showing his improved speed to blow past defenceman Martin Lojek to pick up the loose puck and then, when Lojek had closed in enough to apply a hook, Jaffray put his shoulder down and ripped a high shot past Craig Anderson before falling to the ice.

"I just got lucky on the shot block that it came off pretty clean and straight out," said Jaffray. "I knew that Lee Goren was with me. I was trying to shoot far side and if he did make the save Goren would be there for the rebound."

There was no rebound to be had.

So what about the significance of closing in on 30 goals with 24 games left to play?

"I was hoping not to think about it so you don't get stuck there for a while," he said. "Obviously, it's a number that I was after when I started off strong. I was looking to finish with that and now I'm to the point where I can look at 40 and hope to get to that.

"You just try to get better every game. It's significant and it would be nice to have."

NUMBER ONE: Speaking of numbers, Moose goalie Wade Flaherty confessed he was a little surprised Sunday's shutout was his first of the season.

"Yeah, I thought of that as soon as the horn went," said Flaherty, who had a league-high six shutouts last season. "I wasn't as jittery or worried about how things are going to turn out coming back after a five-week break. I was more relaxed (than last Monday against the Omaha Knights)."

DAY OF REST: With his team riding a seven-game winning streak and facing a stretch of four games in five days to close out a six-game homestand, Moose head coach Scott Arniel decided to give his team the day off yesterday.

Arniel kept busy himself by appearing on TSN's Off the Record with Michael Landsberg.


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