Moose complete four-game sweep of Griffins, advance to AHL semifinals

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Mark Cullen had a power-play goal and added an assist as the Manitoba Moose advanced to the American Hockey League Eastern Conference final with a 3-2 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday.

Manitoba goaltender Cory Schneider made 30 saves as the Moose completed a four-game sweep of Grand Rapids in the North Division final.

Jason Krog and Guillaume Desbiens also scored for Manitoba.

Jakub Kindl and Jamie Tardif replied for Grand Rapids, while Jimmy Howard made 17 stops for the Griffins.

Kindl opened the score with a short-handed goal, wiring the puck through the traffic and past Schneider.

The Moose responded less than two minutes later on a power play when Cullen found Krog with a sleek pass. Krog lifter the puck over Howard to tie the game 1-1.

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The Moose struck quickly in the second period when Desbiens caught a pass at the right-wing circle and one-timed the puck into the net at the 1:19 mark.

The Moose increased their lead when Raymond Sawada passed the puck from behind the net to Cullen, who beat Howard on the right side for a 3-1 lead.

Grand Rapids tightened the gap to 3-2 when Jamie Tardif beat Schneider with seven minutes left in regulation, but the Griffins couldn’t find a way to beat the Moose goaltender again.

The Moose await the winner of the East Division final between Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the Eastern Conference final.