Jaffray joins pantheon of Moose legends

Hero's hat trick defines 'clutch'


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Move over, Jimmy Roy. Make room, Lee Goren. Yo, Steve Brule, shove over. Here comes Jason Jaffray.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/06/2009 (5113 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Move over, Jimmy Roy. Make room, Lee Goren. Yo, Steve Brule, shove over. Here comes Jason Jaffray.

Already a name to remember among the best of the Manitoba Moose, Jason Jaffray can now head to the front of the line when it comes to owners of big nights. Jaffray’s three-goal performance in Game 2 of this Calder Cup final has to rank as the most clutch and most important in franchise history.

There have been big moments before and even a few that bordered on large. But nothing prior to Jaffray’s hat trick in a 3-1 win over the Hershey Bears could be labelled as huge. And huge this was.

The series is now tied 1-1 with Game 3 set for Saturday night in Pennsylvania.

Trailing 1-0 after one period and facing the prospect of heading to Hershey down 2-0 in a best-of-seven series with the next three games played on the road, Jaffray stole the moment, the night and the thunder as he popped three straight goals to announce his presence in this series and give his club even standing with the growly Bears.

“I didn’t change my game, it was just kind of getting off a schneid,” said Jaffray, who had gone without a goal for eight games before busting out on Tuesday night. “The guys were telling me to keep doing what I was doing and getting shots on goal. I was getting chances, it was just a matter of chipping them in.

“The great thing about our team, we’ve had guys step up in every round. We have depth and don’t rely on just one guy for our offence.”

Jaffray, who now has nine goals and eight assists in 17 playoff games, did turn to an old superstition for some help prior to Game 2. As a junior player, Jaffray had come into the habit of slipping a five-dollar bill into a seam inside his glove for luck.

“My wife, she knows how much these games mean to me, so she called to find out what kind of a bill I used to use and when I was leaving for the rink, my little girl, she came up to me and handed me a five-dollar bill with a little drawing on it and told me to put in my glove for luck,” said Jaffray, 27. “Things like that, they take your mind off things. Maybe when you’re thinking about scoring too much, a little thing like that brings you back to earth.”

Moose GM Craig Heisinger says Jaffray brings more than a scorer’s touch.

“Jaffs an interesting study. He’s a classic example of a guy who has made the most of his opportunity here or anywhere else,” offered Heisinger.

“He brings character and work ethic to the table. There are times when players don’t play well but in Jaff’s case, it’s not due to a lack of effort.

“He brings a lot of intangibles to the table. Different people read into those intangibles differently. For me, he fits the criteria of what we try to bring in here as a player. I’m not sure you describe every player as a heart-and-soul guy but every guy you bring in, you want that in them. Jaff has that. He’s a quality person and for me he’s a case study in what the Manitoba Moose want to be about.”

NOTES: The Moose announced Wednesday they’ve extended their affiliation deal with the ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings for another year.

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