For a Manitoba Moose team that is now 24-31-0-0 this season, extra time is the greatest thing that ever happened.
Wednesday night at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, the Moose got a game-winning shootout goal from Seth Griffiths en route to a 5-4 road victory over the Laval Rocket. The Moose have now played six extra-time games this season and they’ve won all six.
With the shootout loss, the Rocket fell to 23-23-5-3 this season.
Manitoba opened a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes on goals from Griffith, his 20th of the year, and David Gustafsson, his first. However, Laval answered with three in the second to take a 3-2 after 40 minutes.
In the third period, Leon Gawanke scorned his second of the season to tie the game at three, but Charles Hudon scored his 25th of the season to give a Laval a 4-3 advantage at 13:24.
However, with less than two minutes to play, Michael Spacek banged home a rebound off a shot by Cameron Schilling to tie the game 4-4.
In overtime, Moose net minder Mikhail Berdin stepped up and stopped all three shots he faced — the only three shots in the OT were by the Rocket — and the game went to a shootout.
In the shootout, Griffith scored the lone goal as Berdin stopped Laval’s first two shooters and then made a terrific play by poke checking Hudon’s attempt into the corner to give the Moose another extra-time win.
On a night when Griffith became the first Manitoba player to reach the 20-goal plateau this season and Gustafsson scored his first American Hockey League goal, Berdin was the hero. He stopped 27 shots in total.
The Moose and Rocket go at in again on Friday night in Laval. Opening face-off is scheduled for about 6:35 p.m. CST and the game can be heard on TSN 1290.