MANCHESTER, NH – The Norfolk Admirals scored three unanswered goals after giving up two, and beat the Manchester Monarchs, 3-2, in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The playoff series is now tied, 1-1.
The Admirals’ John Gibson (1-1-0) was sensational in a 32-save performance for his first professional playoff victory. After a shutout last night, Jean-Francois Berube (1-1-0) suffered the loss while saving 24 of 27 shots.
As they did in Game 1, Manchester struck first when the Admirals couldn’t corral a bouncing puck in the slot. Monarch rookie Nic Dowd stood between the circles and snapped the loose puck into the top shelf over Gibson’s left shoulder for a 1-0 Manchester lead at 16:34. It was Dowd’s first professional goal of his career after playing only seven games in the regular season.
Just over a minute later, the hole deepened when Zach O’Brien scored his second goal of the series. O’Brien circled around the net towards the far dot before turning and firing a shot off Gibson’s right side and into the net at 17:51. Norfolk trailed 2-0 at the first intermission.
Norfolk owned the second period, tying the game with two goals through the first 12 minutes of the frame. The Admirals’ William Karlsson drew a tripping penalty and Max Friberg took advantage when he rifled home a rebound for Norfolk’s first goal at 7:54 of the second.
Dave Steckel tied the game for the Admirals when he got a stick on a puck sent to the Manchester net by Steve Eminger. The puck redirected downward under Berube’s legs at 11:56 of the period. Just like that, Norfolk climbed out of a two-goal hole to the send the game into the third deadlocked at 2-2.
Two of the newest Admirals hooked up to give Norfolk their first lead of the series in the third period. Nic Kerdiles crossed the blue line and hit William Karlsson on the move toward the Monarch net. Karlsson wristed a shot to Berube’s left side that ricocheted off his glove into the net at 11:17. Norfolk scored three unanswered goals after going down 2-0 to take a 3-2 lead with over eight minutes to play in regulation.
Gibson came up huge with big saves on open shooters in the final minutes and the Admirals hung on to win, 3-2, in enemy territory to send the series back to the Scope tied at 1-1. Norfolk will enjoy the remainder of the series at home in Hampton Roads.
The Admirals and Monarchs continue their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal in Norfolk on Wednesday for Game 3. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. at the Norfolk Scope Arena. Game 4 and Game 5 (if necessary) will also be at Scope on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
2014 Calder Cup Playoff tickets are available to purchase for individual games or in two different package options. Game 4 tickets go on sale Monday at 10:00 a.m. Purchase individual tickets for Game 4 at the Scope Box Office. For any ticketing questions, stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime.