GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Jason Jaffray and Lee Goren notched three points apiece on Saturday to lead the Manitoba Moose to their fourth consecutive one-goal victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins, a 3-2 decision at Van Andel Arena.
Former Griffin Drew MacIntyre celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style, finishing with 24 saves to help the Moose (38-17-7-4) claim their seventh straight triumph and their 16th win in their last 17 games.
Grand Rapids (33-25-5-3) will travel to Milwaukee on Sunday to play its fourth game in five nights and begin a four-game road swing. Faceoff at the Bradley Center is set for 5 p.m.
A turnover in the Griffins’ end proved costly in the early going, as Jaffray eventually found the puck in the crease and popped it over Stefan Liv’s left shoulder at 3:47. Grand Rapids got it back just over four minutes later, however, when Kip Miller took a pass from Ben Simon, streaked down the right side and snapped a shot past MacIntyre at 7:50.
The Moose, who entering the game had scored seven of their 10 regulation goals against the Griffins this season on the power play, capitalized twice with the advantage in the second period to take a 3-1 lead, with Jaffray (5:15) and Goren (7:07) each scoring from the slot.
Jon Insana, who scored his first goal of the season against MacIntyre in Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss, solved the netminder again at 12:51 with a long-range blast from the right point that slipped though traffic to cut Grand Rapids’ deficit to one goal entering the third period. However, MacIntyre turned aside eight shots over the final 20 minutes, including a last-ditch shot by Miller off a faceoff in the Manitoba zone with just five seconds remaining, to preserve the margin and the win.
Liv, who started for the first time in five games, finished with 26 saves in sustaining just his second regulation loss in his last 10 decisions (7-2-1-0).
Tonight’s count of 10,500 fans gave the Griffins crowds of 10,000-plus on consecutive nights for the first time this season and brought this week’s cumulative attendance to 28,800, marking the largest attendance for a three-game homestand at Van Andel Arena since Jan. 20-22, 2000 (29,393).