WINNIPEG – Manitoba Moose captain Mike Keane scored a pair of empty-net goals to preserve a 5-3 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs in American League Hockey play Friday.
With Hamilton pressing on the power play in the final two minutes of the game, Keane scored his first empty-net goal short-handed to give the Moose a 4-1 lead. But 12 seconds later, Bulldogs forward Andrew Conboy capitalized on the power play to make it 4-2.
With 41 seconds left, P.K. Subban scored to bring Hamilton to within one before Keane added another empty netter at 19:39 to seal the win.
A fast-paced first period ended with the teams tied 1-1.
Bulldogs leading scorer Brock Trotter fired the puck through netminder Cory Schneider’s legs at 13:46 to bring his points total to 14, but the Moose quickly responded with their own top gun.
Manitoba leading scorer Sergei Shirokov carried the puck down the side, slowed a bit and then sent a backhand shot behind Curtis Sanford at 14:40 for his eighth goal of the season.
Sanford played 16 games with the Moose last season.
Eric Christensen gave Manitoba the 2-1 lead at 4:02 of the second in his first game with the team.
Christensen was sent to the team Thursday for conditioning by the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.
Forward Mario Bliznak made it 3-1 four minutes later after picking up a loose puck and beating Sanford.
The goal sparked a change in Hamilton’s net from Sanford to Cedrick Desjardins. Sanford (6-3-2) had faced 14 shots.
The Bulldogs outshot the Moose 36-20.
The victory was Manitoba’s (11-9-2) third in a row and tied them with the Bulldogs (10-4-4) for second place in the AHL’s North Division.
However, division rival Abbotsford had 23 points going into their Friday night game against Bridgeport.
NOTES: The Moose are now on a dubious streak of 0-31 on power play . . . Manitoba is 5-0 when leading after two periods and Hamilton is 0-4 when trailing after two. . . The Moose and Bulldogs play the rematch Saturday night.