MANCHESTER, N.H. – Brandon Segal had two goals against his former team, Dustin Tokarski made 25 saves in his first game of the series and Norfolk’s penalty kill remained perfect as the Norfolk Admirals defeated the Manchester Monarchs, 5-2, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Admirals now lead the best-of-five series, two games to one. Norfolk has a chance to close out the series in Game 4 on Friday night in Manchester.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Philip-Michael Devos each scored their first career Calder Cup Playoff goals while Alexandre Picard netted his team-leading fourth goal of the playoffs. Norfolk received three assists from Trevor Smith and two helpers each from Alex Killorn and Cory Conacher.
The Admirals denied all six Manchester power play opportunities to improve to 20-for-20 on the penalty kill in the series, while Tokarski (1-0) earned his third career playoff victory in his first game of the series.
Norfolk took a 1-0 lead just 35 seconds into the contest. Killorn carried the puck into the attacking zone along the right wing before sending it to Evan Oberg in the right circle. Oberg slipped past a defenseman before shuffling the puck to his left. Segal, who played for Manchester in 2009-10, accepted the pass between the hashmarks and sent a shot past Manchester goaltender Martin Jones for his first goal of the game.
The Admirals’ lead doubled to 2-0 just over seven minutes later. Smith sent a feed from the left corner to Labrie in the left faceoff circle. Labrie sent a shot over the blocker of Jones at 7:40.
Manchester cut Norfolk’s lead to one goal less than four minutes later. Linden Vey spotted Robbie Czarnik in the slot, and Czarnik sent a quick backhand shot through the leg pads of Tokarski at 11:06 to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Admirals after one period.
Norfolk restored its two-goal lead 4:31 into the second period. Mike Kostka sent a shot from the high slot that Jones stopped. However, Devos found the rebound in the low slot and sent a shot through Jones’ legs for a 3-1 lead.
Manchester again closed its gap to one goal less than nine minutes later. Vey intercepted a puck at the right point of the Norfolk zone and cut towards the slot. He dropped a pass in the high slot to Stefan Legein, and Legein sent a slap shot over the glove of Tokarski at 12:51 to cut the visitors’ lead to 3-2.
However, the Admirals iced the game in the final half of the third period after Legein was whistled for boarding, giving Norfolk a five-minute, major power play. Picard scored at 14:45 off a rebound opportunity to put Norfolk ahead, 4-2. Segal then sealed the victory at 18:32 with an empty-net goal.
Martin Jones (1-1) stopped 28 of 32 shots for the loss
Norfolk was 1-for-8 on the power play. Manchester was 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
Norfolk Admirals 5 at Manchester Monarchs 2 – Status: Final
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 – Verizon Wireless Arena
Norfolk 2 1 2 – 5
Manchester 1 1 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Segal 1 (Oberg, Killorn), 0:35. 2, Norfolk, Labrie 1 (Smith, Conacher), 7:40. 3, Manchester, Czarnik 2 (Vey, Mullen), 11:06. Penalties-Clune Mch (boarding), 3:44; Azevedo Mch (hooking), 5:04; Kostka Nor (delay of game), 14:40; Czarnik Mch (slashing), 17:09.
2nd Period-4, Norfolk, Devos 1 (Kostka, Smith), 4:31. 5, Manchester, Legein 2 (Vey, Kolomatis), 12:51. Penalties-Johnson Mch (roughing), 13:52; Panik Nor (interference), 15:19; Oberg Nor (tripping), 18:48.
3rd Period-6, Norfolk, Picard 4 (Conacher, Smith), 14:45 (PP). 7, Norfolk, Segal 2 (Killorn, Picard), 18:32 (EN). Penalties-Kolomatis Mch (holding the stick), 0:26; served by Picard Nor (bench minor – too many men), 2:37; Gudas Nor (tripping), 4:22; Smith Nor (interference, roughing), 9:08; Hill Mch (roughing), 9:08; Legein Mch (major – boarding, game misconduct – boarding), 12:50; Clune Mch (roughing), 19:46.
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 13-9-11-33. Manchester 10-6-11-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 1 / 8; Manchester 0 / 6.
Goalies-Norfolk, Tokarski 1-0-0 (27 shots-25 saves). Manchester, Jones 1-1-0 (32 shots-28 saves).
Referees-David Banfield (44), Jon McIsaac (39).
Linesmen-Jeremy Lovett (78), Brian MacDonald (72).