WINNIPEG - Manitoba Moose winger Jason Jaffray's hat trick, including the game-winner with 47 seconds left in regulation, propelled the Moose to a 3-1 victory over the Hershey Bears in Tuesday night.
The win ties the American Hockey League Calder Cup final best-of-seven series at one game a piece. The series between the Western Conference-champion Moose and Eastern champion Bears shifts to Hershey, Pa., for the next three games.
Game 3 is Saturday, Game 4 Sunday and Game 5, if needed, next Tuesday. If Games 6 or 7 are needed, both will be played in Winnipeg on June 12 and June 14.
Jaffray added an empty netter with 10 seconds left, his ninth goal of the playoffs, before a crowd of 14,737 at the MTS Centre which has a capacity of 15,003.
The game's first goal at 12:31 of the first period was a slick one by playoff scoring leader Alexandre Giroux, whose hat trick in Game 1 included the game-winner for Hershey.
The Bears left-winger took his second straight breakaway and skated down the side and then at an angle toward Moose goalie Cory Schneider.
When it looked like Giroux was going to the right side of the net, Schneider followed him, but Giroux stopped in the crease and flicked the puck around Schneider on the empty left side.
It was Giroux's 13th goal of the playoffs and his 24rd point. He also had a league-leading 60 goals and 97 points in the regular season and was named AHL MVP.
Hershey outshot Manitoba 10-8 in the first period, which featured some heavy hits from both sides and some sloppy puck handling by the Moose.
Manitoba evened it up on the power play 7:59 into the second when Jaffray had the puck come across the crease toward him and he just barely had room to flip it between the post and Bears' rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth.
The Moose outshot the Bears 14-4 in the middle frame, but still didn't look like the polished squad they've been throughout the playoffs.
Hershey had two power plays in the third period, but couldn't capitalize because of some bad bounces and sharp stops by Schneider.
The final three minutes had the crowd roaring as both sides took turns with close calls.
Manitoba outshot Hershey 30-28.
The Moose were 1-3 on the power play and the Bears 0-3.
Manitoba is looking for the franchise's first championship in its 13-year history. It joined the AHL in 2001 after five seasons in the former International Hockey League.
Hershey is chasing its 10th AHL title.
The Moose won the regular-season title with 107 points, one point ahead of Hershey.