Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Highlight reel: Bears 4 Moose 1
Disaster strikes for the Moose as they come out jittery and that's all the opportunistic Bears need to turn the opener into bad news for the home side. Hershey strikes three times with goals by Andrew Gordon, Chris Bourque and Alexandre Giroux. Giveaways by rookie Cody Hodgson and Guillaume Desbiens turn out to be critical mistakes for the Moose.
Bears 3 Moose 0 SECOND PERIOD
Hodgson gets a little redemption as he does some fine work behind the net and is able to slip a tidy pass to Mario Bliznak in the slot.
The young Slovak whips a shot past Bears goalie Michal Neuvirth.
Bears 3 Moose 1 THIRD PERIOD
The Bears turn off the taps and keep the Moose to the outside for most of the final 20 minutes of the game. Manitoba is able to create a few chances but when they do get close, Neuvirth is there like a wall to stop everything. Keith Aucoin adds an empty-netter and that's it as the Bears are Calder Cup champs.
Bears 4 Moose 1
The Bears take the series 42 and collect their 10th Calder Cup in franchise history. Hershey earned a split in the first two games in Manitoba then took two of three when the series shifted east. The clubs came back to Manitoba and the Bears made sure there would be no Game 7 as they thundered to a series-clinching win in downtown Winnipeg. Full marks to Hershey, they came into the series as slight underdogs and left as champions.
Hershey goaltender Michal Neuvirth was the deserving MVP, giving up only 11 goals in the final series with a shutout. He was also 16-6 in 22 playoff games.
The fourth sellout of the series and second in Winnipeg after three straight in Hershey. Attendance in the series reaches 77,038 for a record. Also a record is the per-game average of 12,839. The Moose set an AHL record for playoff total attendance with a mark of 116,095 coming into the MTS Centre this post-season. In a final touch of class, the 15,003 chant Go Moose Go after the game is over to tip their hats to their team one last time this season.
In and out
The Moose made no lineup changes but the Bears did make a small adjustment adding Darren Reid and sitting down Mathieu Perrault.
The Bears grabbed the Calder Cup and ran. The team collected their hardware from AHL president Dave Andrews then grabbed a quick shower before swooping out of town on a charter jet all the way back home. The Bears will hold a celebration rally at the Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday.
-- Gary Lawless
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