Moose Cash in on Former Goalie

By Andrew Bourgeois


The Manitoba Moose are cashing in on the rise of former goaltender Johan Hedberg, who is making a name for himself – and the Moose – while guarding the nets for the Pittsburgh Penguins in their current NHL playoff battle with the Washington Capitals.

A career minor leaguer, Hedberg became an immediate fan favourite after posting a 7-1-1 record for the Penguins down the regular season stretch, then securing the starting role for the playoffs.

“They’re buying anything that has `Hedberg’ on it,” said Tim Scott, the Moose vice-president of marketing, communication and corporate development.

“They’re buying Moose antlers. They’re buying $300 US game jerseys. They’re buying Moose foam No. 1 hands. They’re looking for Moose-call horns.

“It’s turning out to be fun, that’s for sure.”

It’s also turning out to be profitable, while generating exposure for the Moose across North America.
That’s largely due to the fact that Hedberg is still wearing his Moose mask in Pittsburgh.

Scott believes the sale of Moose gear will grow exponentially in Pittsburgh – where the fans chant “Moose” every time Hedberg makes a big save – if the Penguins advance further in the NHL playoffs.

“It’ll continue because this Moose mania was created by the fans,” Scott noted. “It wasn’t created by the team or a marketing guy.”

For example, the Moose have just sent the Penguins 200 Hedberg playing cards in exchange of a game-worn, autographed Mario Lemieux jersey, which they will probably auction off for charity.

Scott said the organization is rooting for him as much as the fans in Pittsburgh.

“If anything, it’s a validation of our team,” he said. “Remember, we’ve got six guys up in the NHL playoffs right now. That’s incredible.

“So we want to support him (Hedberg) and we’re big fans of his. There’s nothing we’d like more than Hedberg go on to play Dallas or Los Angeles, where there’s more of our players (John MacLean in Dallas, Scott Thomas and Philippe Boucher in Los Angeles).


Cleveland Lumberjacks   4
Grand Rapids Griffins   7

Grand Rapids leads Eastern Confernce Semi-Final 2 games to 0 games.

Derek King set a franchise playoff record with four goals and five points as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Cleveland Lumberjacks, 7-4, to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven first-round series. King, who tied Chicago’s Steve Larouche for the league lead in scoring with 83 regular-season points, broke a 1-1 tie in the first period with a power-play goal before assisting on Ivan Ciernik’s goal 14 seconds later. King would cap the scoring in the opening stanza with a shorthanded goal, and his power-play marker at 6:28 of the second period gave Grand Rapids a 5-2 lead. The 34-year-old veteran of 830 National Hockey League games sealed the win for the Griffins with an empty-net tally late in the third period to become the team’s all-time leader in postseason scoring with 22 points (11 g, 11 a) in 19 games. Ciernik added a pair of assists and Travis Richards dished out three assists for Grand Rapids, which set a home playoff record with seven goals. Mike Fountain picked up the win after stopping 20 of 24 shots. Christian Matte netted a power-play goal and Ray Schultz added a shorthanded score for Cleveland. Derek Gustafson was lit up for five goals on 17 shots before being pulled midway through the third period.

Manitoba Moose          2
Houston Aeros           1

Western Conference Semi-Final tied 1 game apiece

B.J. Young scored the game-winning goal early in the final period as the Manitoba Moose edged the Houston Aeros, 2-1, to tie their first-round playoff series at one game apiece. Young, who netted eight goals in 33 regular-season games, snapped the 1-1 tie 31 seconds into the third. Doug Ast tied the contest for Manitoba on an even-strength marker with 3:18 left in the second period. Ken Wregget had 20 saves in the victory for the Moose. Tom Chorske, who made his IHL debut this season, opened the scoring with 4:51 remaining in the middle stanza for Houston. Frederic Chabot surrendered both goals on 32 shots to suffer the loss.

Milwaukee Admirals      1
Chicago Wolves          5

Chicago leads Western Conference Semi-Final 2 games to 0 games.

Rob Brown scored the game-winning goal as the Chicago Wolves defeated the Milwaukee Admirals, 5-1, to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven first-round series. Jesse Belanger tied the game 1-1 with 3:12 remaining in the first period, and Brown netted a power-play marker 25 seconds into the second stanza to give Chicago the lead for good. Ted Drury and Steve Maltais both added a goal and an assist, and Wendell Young stopped 31 shots for the win in his first appearence of the postseason. Marc Mowers tallied his first goal of the playoffs for Milwaukee. Jan Lasak allowed five goals on 32 shots in his series debut for the Admirals, who have allowed nine goals in two games.


Chicago goalie Richard Shulmistra lead all IHL goalies with a .931 save %.


June 15, 1998:
The Chicago Wolves capture their first Turner Cup before 16,701 fans at the Rosemont Horizon. The 3-0 shutout clinched the title for the Wolves in seven games. It was the first seven-game series for a Cup Final in 13 years.


April 21, 1996:
Tampa Bay’s 5-4 OT win over Philadelphia marked the first time that a teams first 2 playoff wins came in OT.


Sunday April 22, 2001

Cincinnati Cyclones at Orlanado Solar Bears
Cyclones lead best of 7 Eastern Confernece Semi-Finals 1 game to 0 games.