WINNIPEG – Manitoba Moose defenceman Evan Oberg admitted his winning goal on Tuesday night wasn’t pretty.
“I turned around, closed my eyes and shot it,” Oberg said with a smile. “I just wanted to get it on net.” Oberg spun around and fired a shot through traffic that beat Bulldogs goalie Curtis Sanford at 10:27 of the third period as Manitoba topped Hamilton 3-2 in American Hockey League action.
It was the rookie’s second goal of the season and came 31 games after his first one.
“It feels really good,” said Oberg, who also has 21 assists. “It just goes to show that we can play with any team in this league when we put our mind to it and work hard.”
Marco Rosa and Guillaume Desbiens had Manitoba’s other goals, while Hamilton’s Mike Glumac scored twice for the Bulldogs.
Hamilton has already clinched first place in the AHL’s North Division with a 46-16-9 record. Manitoba (35-30-6) is fourth, two points behind the Rochester Americans and seven points ahead of Toronto and Lake Erie.
Manitoba went 1-for-5 on the power play, while Hamilton was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Hamilton head coach Guy Boucher was unavailable after the game, but assistant coach Martin Raymond said he wasn’t pleased with the Bulldogs’ special teams.
“We thrive on our power play and they did a good job blocking shots and getting into the lanes,” Raymond said.
“Their power play scored a goal, which is unfortunate. Our penalty kill had been pretty solid lately and unfortunately tonight gave up a goal, which basically makes the difference in the game.”
After a scoreless first period that saw each team hit the post, Glumac got Hamilton on the board with his 18th of the season at 5:39 of the second off a lucky bounce.
Alex Henry’s shot went off the crossbar, and bounced to Glumac, who whacked it past Manitoba goalie Cory Schneider.
Rosa tied it up less than a minute later for the Moose on the power play with a high shot past Sanford.
But Glumac scored his second of the night 30 seconds after that off a Moose turnover.
The period ended 2-2 when Desbiens’ shot went through Sanford’s legs at 17:28.
Hamilton outshot the Moose 26-25 on the night. The two teams go back at it Wednesday.