HERSHEY -- For a rookie, Michal Neuvirth seems remarkably unflappable.
Neuvirth turned away all 28 shots he faced Saturday night, backstopping the Hershey Bears to a 3-0 victory over the Manitoba Moose in front of a sell-out crowd of 10,696 at Giant Center.
With the win, the Bears took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Calder Cup championship series. Game 4 is tonight at Giant Center. Game 5 is also in Hershey on Tuesday night.
But for all his heroics -- which included a couple of big saves on a Manitoba 5-on-3 power play in the second period and a huge glove save on Mario Bliznak breaking in alone 69 seconds into the third -- Neuvirth credited his teammates for the victory.
"The guys on the team, they played a great game. It was a team effort," Neuvirth said. "I think everybody played great tonight, and we won the special teams battle."
The Bears scored twice on the power play and went a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, including the 50 seconds' worth of two-man advantage the Moose enjoyed a little less than six minutes into the second period.
Still, while Neuvirth was crediting his teammates, the Bears were crediting him.
"He was good," Hershey coach Bob Woods said, "especially on the penalty kill. He's dialed in right now. He's playing with a lot of confidence."
"He's pretty special," said Hershey's Quintin Laing. "Anything he sees, he stops. He gives us an opportunity to win. We've got a lot of confidence in him."
Manitoba coach Scott Arniel wasn't about to argue.
"Their goaltender made some great stops," Arniel said. "Their goalie was good. He was excellent."
Neuvirth's effort on the Manitoba 5-on-3 power play -- combined with the efforts of penalty killers Laing, Andrew Joudrey and Dean Arsene -- turned out to be the turning point in the game.
The Bears had taken a 1-0 first-period lead when Graham Mink redirected a Staffan Kronwall point shot past goalie Cory Schneider, but the Moose began pressing the Bears hard early in the second.
Although they failed to get a shot, the Moose forced two Hershey turnovers in the Bears' zone in the first 21/2 minutes of the period.
Two minutes later, Alexandre Giroux was whistled off for slashing, and with 50 seconds left in that penalty, he was joined in the box by Chris Bourque, who was also called for slashing.
Laing, Joudrey and Arsene stepped up, held Manitoba to just three shots, and with time running out on Giroux's penalty, Neuvirth kicked out a shot from the right side that Laing pounced on and fired up the ice.
"It was a turning point, for sure," Giroux said. "Neuvy and the PK played really, really well, but we cannot give them a 5-on-3 every game. But Neuvy played unbelievable."
A little more than a minute after the Bears killed Bourque's penalty, Manitoba's Zack FitzGerald was called for roughing. The Bears made the most of the power-play chance, stretching their lead to 2-0 when Giroux popped in a one-timer from the right circle.
Neuvirth and the Hershey defense took over after that, including killing off a late third-period penalty on Bryan Helmer. The Moose pulled Schneider in favor of an additional attacker with 2:01 left in the game. With 43.3 seconds remaining and Helmer still in the box, Laing picked off a puck inside his own blue line and sent it the length of the ice into the empty net to wrap things up.