WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Moose jumped to an early lead and held on to beat the visiting Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2 in AHL action Friday night at the MTS Centre.
Defencemen Danny Groulx and Jimmy Sharrow earned a goal and an assist each for the Moose, while Drew MacIntyre earned the win, stopping 34 of 36 shots.
The Moose netted the opening goal just over four minutes in. Greg Classen’s breakaway goal was Manitoba’s first short-handed goal of the season.
Only 40 seconds after the Moose stretched their lead to two, Griffins penalty-killers cut it down to one, with Mark Cullen snapping a shortie past MacIntyre at 11:34.
Looking for the equalizer, Grand Rapids posted the first even-strength goal of the game with just over four-minutes left on the clock. Credited with his first of the season, Kyle Quincey’s cross-crease pass ricocheted off the skate of a Moose defender and into the home net, tying the game at two after 20 minutes of play.
Up 9-8 in shots after the first period, the Moose kept Jimmy Howard hopping in the early minutes of the second, firing six shots on the netminder but managing no further goals. By the end of the middle frame, the Moose led the shot department 22-17 but remained neck-and-neck with the Griffins at 2-2.
With the Griffins suffering from an extra holding penalty, Sharrow proved fully recovered from an injury earlier in the game, beating Howard on a one-timer only six seconds into the power play. With the goal, Manitoba assumed a 3-2 lead with six minutes left in the game.
In the aftermath of the goal and during 4-on-4 play, Jason Jaffray maneuvered through the Moose zone, the neutral zone, and into the Griffins zone before outsmarting the Griffins’ last line of defence to give the Moose a 4-2 lead.