WINNIPEG – Mike Brown scored a short-handed goal at 18:20 of the third period to lift the Manitoba Moose to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Marlies in AHL action Friday night.
Defenceman Max Fortunus also scored for the Moose, while Jaime Sifers replied for the Marlies who have already locked up first place in the North Division.
Toronto netminder Scott Clemmensen and Manitoba goaltender Cory Schneider stopped 29 shots apiece.
With the game tied 1-1 and Manitoba down a man, Moose forward Jannik Hansen raced down the left boards and centred the puck to Brown. Standing off to the right side of the crease, Brown wristed the shot into the corner of the net to give the Moose the win.
Manitoba went to the attack early, while the Marlies needed almost nine minutes to record their first shot on goal. Yet, it was the visitors who struck first at 8:56 when Sifers pounced on a Jay Harrison rebound and fired the puck towards the goal where it was inadvertently directed into the net by forward Greg Classen.
Manitoba tied the game with a power-play goal against the AHL’s top penalty-killing unit at 16:56 after Toronto netminder Clemmensen was assessed a delay-of-game penalty. Fortunus managed to push the puck across the line in a goalmouth scramble, giving the Moose a man-advantage goal in 12 straight games.
The Moose demonstrated strong penalty-killing midway through the second period after picking up two penalties in quick succession. Schneider, drafted in the first round in 2004, was spectacular – making a number of key saves during a one-minute, 26-second two-man disadvantage to preserve the 1-1 tie.
The two teams meet again Saturday night in Manitoba’s final regular season home game. Toronto and Manitoba are 3-3 in the season series thus far.