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  1. #1
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    Calder Cup: MANITOBA MOOSE vs Hershey Bears - Bears win series 4-2

    THE CALDER CUP SETUP

    It’s inexperience versus experience as the Manitoba Moose and Hershey Bears prepare to face off in the Calder Cup Finals when the American Hockey League’s 73rd championship begins Saturday in Winnipeg.

    This is the first time in almost a decade that the best regular-season teams from both the Eastern and Western Conferences will meet in the finals; the Moose were awarded the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL’s 2008-09 regular season points champion, they nipped the Bears by one point.

    These teams have never met before in the playoffs and they didn’t even collide this season so head-to-head there isn’t any recent history to build off of.

    The Moose, who have never been to the Calder Cup finals, are led offensively by a dynamite top line of 2008 Calder Cup winner Jason Krog, journeyman Jason Jaffray and youngster Michael Grabner. All three are in the top 15 in playoff scoring and have combined for 20 goals and 24 assists in 46 games.

    Manitoba’s offensive depth includes contributions from Guillaume Desbiens, Mike Keane, Mark Cullen, Alex Bolduc and Raymond Sawada, among others, who have all chipped in with timely goals this post-season.

    Defensively it’s the same characters that helped the Moose win the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award for allowing the fewest goals this season that have continued to thwart the opposition in the playoffs.

    Nolan Baumgartner, Mark Fistric, Maxime Fortunus and Shaun Heshka are the big names, with Nathan McIver also working into the line-up now and again.

    Between the pipes it’s all Cory Schneider all the time for Manitoba and the 2008-09 winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender has yet to disappoint.

    Schneider hasn’t stolen any games for the Moose to this point, but he’s been rock steady and oober reliable and with Manitoba’s firepower upfront, that’s been just what the doctor ordered.

    A trip to the Calder Cup Finals is nothing new to the Hershey Bears, the farm team of the Washington Capitals, as this is their third appearance in the last four years and 21st in team history.

    The Bears, who joined the AHL in 1938 and are the AHL’s longest-existing team, won it all in 2005-06 giving the franchise nine Calder Cup Championships.

    This year’s edition is led by the likes of 2008-09 AHL MVP and regular-season scoring champion Alexandre Giroux, youngster Chris Bourque and former Carolina Hurricanes centre Keith Aucoin; all three players are in the top seven in playoff scoring.

    Former Canucks and Moose defenceman Bryan Helmer is the veteran leading the defence, he’s followed by on-again off-again NHLer Staffan Kronwall and six-year Bears mainstay Dean Arsene.

    Rookie goaltender Michal Neuvirth has played unbelievably well for Hershey, he’s allowed one more goal than Schneider but has three shutouts and his save percentage is a pinch higher.

    Overall, the Moose and Bears are tied in playoff goals with 52, while Manitoba has given up 33 goals against to Hershey’s 35.

    When it comes to special teams the only distinct advantage is in penalty killing where the Moose sit third overall stopping the opposition 87% of the time to Hershey’s 12th ranked, 78% kill.

    On the power play the Bears are fourth overall at 20% with Manitoba just behind them at 19%.

    And finally, a Hershey Bears believe it or not: between 1932 and 1936, the Bears were known as the B’ars and the Chocolate B’ars, before they decided on Bears in 1936. Good choice.
    http://canucks.nhl.com/team/app/?ser...ticleid=424242
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  2. #2
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    i know we have a moose thread, but i think this series deserves a thread of its own. Hopefully Moose can win it!!!

    We can merge after the series finishes.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  3. #3
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    Thanks SF! Good idea.

  4. #4
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    Bears win game 1 in over time, 5-4.

    Grabner scored 2 goals, both on breakaways. He also got an assist and Hodgson picked up an assist as well.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  5. #5
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    In a game that looked like it was destined for overtime, the Manitoba Moose scored two goals in the final 47 seconds to even the Calder Cup Finals series with a 3-1 win over the Hershey Bears in Game 2. Jason Jaffray scored all three goals for the home team, while Cory Schneider stopped 27 shots in his 18th consecutive appearance. The Moose and Bears will face-off for Game 3 on Saturday night at the Giant Center.

    Manitoba earned the first powerplay of the night at 5:07 when Patrick McNeill was forced to sit out for hooking. Both Matt Pope and Matt Fistric had quality scoring chances during the man-advantage but netminder Michal Neuvirth denied them both.

    At 12:31 Alexandre Giroux slipped by the Moose defense and maneuvered the puck around Schneider’s left goal pad to open the scoring and put the Bears in a 1-0 lead.

    The home team penalty killers went to work at 18:57 when Mario Bliznak was penalized for tripping. Although the visitors took the shot lead, 10-9, they couldn’t capitalize before play returned to even-strength.

    7:59 into the second period and on their second powerplay of the night, the Moose tied the game. Michael Grabner’s initial shot grazed passed Neuvirth’s glove and Jason Jaffray tipped the loose puck into the right corner of the net to even the score.

    The Moose and Bears were deadlocked at one with five-minutes left to play in the third period, with only one shot difference between the clubs. With 47 seconds to go on the clock, Jason Jaffray wired the puck into the net for his second of the night and to clinch the game, 2-1.

    In a last minute effort Hershey decided to pull their goaltender and opt for an additional attacker. However, with a defensive slip up at center, Jason Jaffray got the hat trick with an empty-netter and confirmed the win for the Moose, 3-1.
    moose hockey

    Jaffray with a hat trick, series tied at 1.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  6. #6
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    For the first time this postseason, the Moose failed to record a point and were shutout by the Hershey Bears 3-0 in Game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals. The Bears now lead the series 2-1 heading into Game 4 tomorrow night. Goaltender Cory Schneider made 22 saves in his 19th consecutive appearance while Bears netminder Michal Neuvirth earned his fourth shutout this postseason.
    Moose Hockey

    moose get shut out.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  7. #7
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    Cody has been benched by Scott Arniel for tonight's game. He'll be in the press box. I think our expectations of Hodgson have been too high. He's had a long season and he will need some time to acclimate to the speed of the pro game -- even at the AHL level.

  8. #8
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    it is unfair to be placing these high expectations on him, but he'll be fine. Just A LOT of adjusting for him.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  9. #9
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    sorry for lack of updates, but the moose lose 4-2. Congrats for getting this far, time to watch our prospects at the next level.

    THEIR longest season ever finished with the same old kind of frustra*tion Friday at the MTS Centre -- the Manitoba Moose lost their last game.

    At Game 102, this one was a little dif*ferent but hurt no less, losing 4-1 to the Hershey Bears in Game 6 of the Calder Cup championship series, ending the best-of-seven series with a 4-2 Hershey edge.

    It was the Bears' 10th AHL champion*ship, which was not what the partying, soldout crowd of 15,003 came to see.

    The Moose, in existence only 13 sea*sons and just eight in the AHL, fell two wins short of their first-ever champion*ship by self-destructing in Friday's first period.

    The visitors pumped the error-prone Moose for a 3*0 lead in the first 11:16 of action, a perfect solution to neutralizing the largest crowd of these playoffs.

    "It was the last thing we wanted, to lay an egg like that, myself and every*one out there," said Moose goalie Cory Schneider. "But we fought back, battled hard and we didn't fold it in."

    That start, and the inability to score enough over the final four games of the series, doomed the Moose.

    "I thought we took it to them after the first but unfortunately you can't play 40 minutes of a hockey game and expect to beat a team like the Hershey Bears," said Moose winger Jason Jaf*fray. "They're too strong offensively."

    Manitoba had just five goals against Bears goalie Michal Neuvirth in the final four games of the series, and not a single power-play goal after a Game 2 win.

    "We didn't change anything," victor*ious Bears coach Bob Woods said about the penalty killing. "We just executed. Our guys were a determined bunch. It wasn't anything we did different on the penalty kill, we just carried out our plan and worked hard. Hard work and goaltending are the secrets to killing penalties."

    Jaffray said that obstacle was too much to overcome.

    "(For Neuvirth) to give up four goals in the last four games, doesn't matter how good Cory Schneider's going to play, that's tough to beat," Jaffray said. "Our penalty killing was in the top two or three all season but running in the 70 per cents (75 per cent) in this series.

    "With the amount of weapons they have, you can't take everything away. Our power play wasn't great either. They got it done when they needed to."

    Manitoba's leading scorer with 23 points in 22 playoff games was Jason Krog and he pointed to Game 1 of the final as a key difference.

    "I think the first game was kind of a big mistake by us," Krog said. "When you have a team down and let them steal a game from us in our own build*ing, you give them a lot of confidence. "(Tonight) we came out a little flat*footed, I don't know why, and bang, it's 3-0 and we've got nothing going yet. They're a good team, give them credit. It was a pretty good season but it sucks it ends this way."

    Krog, who was paid more than $600,000 this season to try to help the Moose to a title, said was unsure if he would return next season.

    "Right now, I have no idea what I'm go*ing to do," he said. "I'm just not sure. It was a successful season in many ways. I was treated so well here, my family as well. It would be enticing. This organ*iza- tion is going in the right direction. They want to win. That's what I want most, to be somewhere I'm going to win."

    Moose coach Scott Arniel was especially sombre after the defeat.

    "I'm real proud of these guys, the way we continued to bat*tle," Arniel said. "I feel for them be*cause they put it all on the line and this wasn't the ending they wanted.

    "It's been a long 102 games from Sep*tember to now. We've done a lot of good things as a group. It's a feeling you don't ever want to have again. In saying that, we lost to a real good team."
    http://www.moosehockey.com/moosenews/407/1016
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  10. #10
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    Thanks for keeping everyone posted on the AHL playoffs SF! Great work in the forum this year!

    Now we have to see what signings Gillis can pull off. ray: that he signs the Sedins AND a couple of extra bonafide FA's.

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