Keith Aucoin's power-play goal in the third period lifted the Hershey Bears past the Manitoba Moose 2-1 in Game 4 of the American Hockey League final Sunday and pushed the Bears to within one win of a Calder Cup.
Up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, the Bears can clinch their 10th Calder Cup on Tuesday night when Game 5 goes in Hershey.
With the Bears on a 5-on-3 power play early in the third period, Alexandre Giroux's hard shot caromed off the end boards to Aucoin, who swatted the rebound past Moose goaltender Cory Schneider at 7:17.
Schneider and Hershey's Michal Neuvirth extended their net battle in another tightly checked game. Schneider turned in an excellent outing, a 31-save performance, while Neuvirth faced 31 Moose shots and made several big stops late in the third period under heavy pressure, including four power-play shots in the final 20 seconds.
Manitoba's Ray Sawada converted his club's first significant scoring chance. Sawada took Jason Jaffray's slot feed and one-timed a shot low past Neuvirth 11 minutes into the first period to give the Moose their first lead since the series shifted to Hershey.
Hershey replied in the second period when centre Kyle Wilson broke down the left boards and placed over Schneider's left shoulder 5:11 into the second period.
The Bears ran into penalty trouble in the second after garnering three minors in a 4:38 span, but the Moose's power-play unit, which has yet to score in Hershey, were held to just one shot during the extended power play.
Notes: Both clubs crossed the 100-game mark on Saturday night, and Sunday's Game 4 puck-drop arrived just 22 hours after Game 3 commenced before a sell-out crowd. . . After contributing three assists over the first two games of the series in Winnipeg, Jason Krog has gone scoreless on the road. . . Moose head coach Scott Arniel broke up his top line, swapping Jaffray for bruising grinder Guillaume Desbiens. . . Alexandre Bolduc and Dusty Collins returned from injury for the Moose. Arniel scratched top prospect Cody Hodgson and winger Matt Pope to accommodate the additions.
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