Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Moose shoot Aeros in heart

Canada's only pro hockey team still playing takes 2-0 series lead

  • Print

They're the last pro hockey team in Canada still at work and if the Houston Aeros were wondering what all the fuss is about the Manitoba Moose they got their answer Saturday night.

The Moose ripped off their ninth straight win in these Calder Cup playdowns with a glitzy 5-2 spanking of the Aeros before 9,736 long weekend hockey watchers at the MTS Centre.

Manitoba leads the best-of-seven Western Conference Final 2-0 with the series switching to Houston for Game 3 on Monday night. The Moose have not lost in the post-season since Game 3 of the first round, a 2-1 loss to the Toronto Marlies back on April 19.

"It's nice to get on a little bit of a streak in the playoffs," said Moose veteran Jason Jaffray. "The difference for us right now is when we had streaks during the season, we let bad habits creep into our game. That's not happening now. Even in this game, after the second period (captain Mike Keane) Keaner stood up and told us we have to be better in these spots. Not many teams have that kind of leadership. To be leading 5-2 and have someone make sure we keep on it. That kind of leadership is great to have."

The Aeros looked a touch spent on Saturday and with good reason, having played five games in the last seven nights and seven games in the last 11 days. The Moose have played just three games in the last nine days and the rest looks very good on them.

Houston promised to be a little more desperate in Game 2 after dropping Game 1 on Friday night in a tight 2-1 affair, but the Moose matched their emotion and then raised them in the energy department.

The result was a three-goal first period for the Moose and a 5-0 lead before the visitors got on the board.

"We were a lot sharper. Much sharper," said Moose coach Scott Arniel. "We got into a little penalty trouble early and that made it difficult for us to get going but once we did, everyone was going. All four lines. That was Moose hockey."

Manitoba's key contributors, Jason Krog, Jason Jaffray and Michael Grabner were sharp from the outset, but it was the Moose depth on display that really impressed. Soon after the top line had opened the scoring and pushed back the Aeros, the second wave of offence came rushing in and the likes of bruising power forward and second-game rookie Cody Hodgson added their input.

Houston will now have the comforts of home and last change to help their cause, but finding a way to shut down a four-line offence will be the biggest riddle for the Texas team.

Manitoba's Krog scored first as he attempted to hit big Sawada in the slot but the puck found the stick of Houston's Paul Albers and wound up in the net for the slick centre's fifth of the post-season.

Grabner made it 2-0 for the home side as he grabbed a rebound off a Nolan Baumgartner blast and flipped the puck past Anton Khudobin for his second of the playoffs.

Sawada got another chance later in the first on the power play and this time he was able to jam a rebound into the Houston cage for his third of the playoffs and a bold 3-0 lead after the first frame.

Aeros coach Kevin Constantine sent Nolan Schaefer into the net for the second period and he quickly became trivia question fodder as Hodgson used a quick wrist shot off the post to pick up his first goal as a pro and give the Moose a 4-0 advantage.

Grabner added another to make it 5-0 and then J.P. Testwuide finally got Houston on the board as he was able to slap a rebound past Moose goalie Cory Schneider.

Aeros winger Marco Rosa added a goal before the second was over to close the gap to 5-2.

Highlight Reel C3

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2009 C1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets this week - Game 2 with Tim and Gary

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google