WINNIPEG (CP) - Forward Lee Goren's goal at 7:53 of the second period proved to be the winner as the Manitoba Moose edged the Toronto Marlies 3-2 in AHL action Friday night in front of 11,970.
Marc Chouinard and Brad Moran also scored for Manitoba, while Martin Sagat and Staffan Kronwall replied for Toronto.
With Drew MacIntyre in the nets for Manitoba and Justin Pogge for Toronto, the Moose outshot the Marlies 33-20.
Manitoba has now won all seven games this year versus Toronto and can sweep the season series Saturday afternoon.
Despite being outshot 19-4 by Manitoba in the first period, Toronto trailed only 2-1.
The Marlies opened the scoring at 4:37 on their first shot of the game when defenceman Kronwall's drive from just inside the blue-line beat MacIntyre low to the far corner on his glove side.
Less than two minutes later, Chouinard tied the game after taking a long lead pass from Yannick Tremblay, skated in all alone and deked Pogge putting the puck behind him on his forehand.
The Moose took the lead at 13:09 when defenceman Maxime Fortunus's long drive was blocked by Pogge, but Moran tapped in the rebound lying in the crease.
The close-checking middle frame saw the Marlies play a stronger 20 minutes outshooting the Moose by a 6-4 margin.
A Marlies power-play goal knotted the score at 4:05 of the second when Sagat lifted the puck over MacIntyre, who was sprawled on his back in the crease.
Goren restored the Moose lead at 7:53 when Moran won a faceoff to the right of the Toronto net, fed a pass to Goren standing off to the side of the crease, and he tapped the puck into the corner of the net despite having Marlies' forward Tyler Nash draped all over him.
With the victory, and Omaha's loss to Peoria, the Moose take over first place - with 102 points - overall in the Western Conference by two points.
With one game remaining in the regular season, Manitoba still does not know which club it will meet in the opening round of the AHL playoffs.
Peoria has two games remaining while the Moose only one.
The Moose handed out regular-season team awards prior to the game and forward Jason Jaffray captured four of the nine trophies: Three stars champion, Most Popular Player, Leading Scorer, and Most Valuable Player.