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A dramatic, hard-fought playoff battle between the Monsters and Manitoba Moose featured hard-hitting action, stellar goaltending and highlight-reel goals from both sides. Momentum shifted back and forth throughout the series, resulting in a Game 7 in which Manitoba posted a 4-1 victory to advance in the the Calder Cup Playoffs. Take a look back at the North Division Semi-Finals:
Game 1 – Lake Erie 6 Manitoba 4
The Monsters jumped out to a 1-0 lead in their first-ever playoff game, as Matt Ford scored just 3:27 into the first period. Manitoba scored twice to build a 2-1 lead before the opening stanza expired, but the Monsters scored in shorthanded, power play and even-strength situations in the middle frame to build a 4-2 advantage.
In the third period, Ford netted his second of the game in between a pair of Manitoba goals, before rookie Mark Olver scored an empty-net tally with 18 seconds remaining to seal a 6-4 victory.
Midway through the first period of Game 2, the Moose took a 1-0 lead off a goal by Aaron Volpatti. With just 26 seconds remaining in the frame, David van der Gulik tied matters with a power play goal off assists from Shawn Belle and Ben Walter.
After a scoreless second period, Julien Brouillette put the Monsters up 2-1 by scoring at 11:28 of the third period.
It looked as though Lake Erie would finish Game 2 with a 2-0 series lead, but with 50 seconds remaining in regulation, the Moose forced overtime with a goal by Marco Rosa.
Just 8:03 into the extra session, Manitoba’s Rick Rypien scored to lift the Moose to victory.
Tied at one game apiece, the series moved to Winnipeg for Game 3.
In that contest, the Moose jumped out to a 1-0 lead with Sergei Shirokov’s goal just 1:09 into the game.
In the second period, the Monsters used goals from David van der Gulik and Ben Walter to make the score 2-1, the eventual final.
Game 4 – Lake Erie 6 Manitoba 3
Lake Erie netted two power play goals in the first period of Game 4 and had a 4-2 lead by the end of the middle frame.
Justin Mercier scored shorthanded and power play goals in the second period, while Ben Walter recorded a goal and an assist between the first two periods.
In the third, Manitoba climbed to within a goal of the Monsters when Kevin Clark scored at the 13:56 mark, but empty-net tallies from Matt Ford and Mark Olver solidified a 6-3 win for Lake Erie.
Game 5 – Lake Erie 0 Manitoba 2
With a three-games-to-one lead the Monsters had a chance to finish the series in Game 5.
Scoreless after two periods, the Moose took a 1-0 lead when Sergei Shirokov scored at 6:35 of the third period.
Lake Erie pulled goaltender Jason Bacashihua in favor of an extra attacker, but Jason Jaffray scored an empty-netter to finish a 2-0 victory for the Moose.
Game 6 – Lake Erie 1 Manitoba 3
After three games in Winnipeg, the series moved back to Cleveland for Game 6.
The Monsters took a 1-0 lead at 2:10 of the second period, as Julian Talbot scored a power play goal off assists from Matt Ford and Stefan Elliot.
Manitoba responded with a goal just 1:33 later, ending the middle frame in a 1-1 tie.
In a third period in which both teams recorded seven shots, the Moose scored twice, finishing a 3-1 victory that retied the series.
Game 7 – Lake Erie 1 Manitoba 4
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