NORFOLK, Va. Troy Milam and Chris Durno scored 38 seconds apart midway through the third period as the Norfolk Admirals (37-20-8-6) erased a 1-0 deficit and defeated the Manchester Monarchs (42-24-3-6), 2-1, on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The Admirals now travel to Charlotte for a critical meeting with the Checkers tomorrow evening at 5:00 p.m. Norfolk trails third-place Charlotte by one point in the East Division Standings.
Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski stopped 28 of 29 shots for his 21st win of the season.
The Monarchs opened scoring on the power play late in the first period. Justin Azevedo sent a pass from the high slot to Bud Holloway at the bottom of the left circle. Holloway one-timed the puck past the right leg of Tokarski at 15:42 for a 1-0 Manchester lead.
After a scoreless second period, the Admirals tied the game at 1-1 mid-way through the final frame. Johan Harju attempted a shot from the left circle that was deflected to the right half wall. Milam skated full stride into a slap shot that was tipped slightly by a Manchester defenseman and went over the left shoulder of Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. The goal was Milam's thirteenth of the season.
Just 38 seconds later, Norfolk took the lead on Durno's eighteenth goal of the season. Pierre-Cedric Labrie sent a shot from a tight angle in the left circle that Zatkoff stopped. Labrie, Mike Angelidis and Durno each then began poking at the loose puck in the crease before Durno was able to jam to puck beneath Zatkoff and into the net for a 2-1 Admirals lead.
The Admirals were able to fend off the Manchester attack the rest of the way including a penalty kill in the last five minutes of regulation to earn the win.
Dustin Tokarski (29 shots, 28 saves) improved to 21-16-4. Jeff Zatkoff (36 shots, 34 saves) fell to 19-15-5.
Norfolk was 0-3 on the power play. Manchester was 1-6.
The Admirals now travel to Charlotte for a critical meeting with the Checkers tomorrow evening at 5:00 p.m. Follow all of the action at 102.1-FM and 1490-AM The Game, 1021TheGame.com and ahllive.com.
The Admirals return to Scope on Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m. to battle the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the final Admirals Value Night of the season, featuring Admirals Family Fun Packs and Student Rush Nights. Family Fun Packs, presented by SunTrust, include four discounted Red Level Tickets for just $48 plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $48 thats a savings of $37!
Student Rush Nights provide $8 White Level Tickets (normally $12) for students with a valid current high school or college ID.
Family Fun Packs are available at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com when purchased in advance. Family Fun Packs are only available at the Scope Box Office on the day of the game. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.
Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are now available! Low monthly payments available for a limited time only. 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 for more details or to purchase your tickets!
1. Chris Durno NOR
2. Dustin Tokarski NOR
3. Troy Milam NOR
EAST DIVISION PLAYOFF CHASE ... Norfolk's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is five points over the Worcester Sharks. Any combination of five standings points gained by Norfolk or lost by Worcester will clinch a berth in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs for the Admirals With nine games remaining in the regular season, Norfolk has 88 points and is in fourth place in the AHL's East Division. The fifth-place Binghamton Senators (85 points, 7 games remaining) remains three points back of Norfolk after defeating Providence tonight. Norfolk holds two games in hand on Binghamton The Worcester Sharks (78 points, 7 games remaining) lost to Springfield tonight and fell to ten points back of the Admirals should the "Crossover Rule" come into effect The Charlotte Checkers (89 points, 6 games remaining) remains one point ahead of Norfolk after winning at Portland tonight. The Admirals hold three games in hand on the Checkers Norfolk remains five points behind the second-place Hershey Bears (93 points, 6 games remaining) after Hershey won tonight vs. Albany. The Admirals also have three games in hand on the Bears ... The top four spots in the East Division are guaranteed to qualify for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The "Crossover Rule" is in effect where if the fifth place team in the East Division has more points than the fourth place team in the Atlantic Division, that team will cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals.
NOTES Norfolk has standings points in seven of its last nine games (7-1-0-1) and 13 of their last 16 games (10-3-0-3) Troy Milam now has 13 goals on the season. He has tied Marty Wilford's 2002-03 campaign for the second-most goals in a single season by a defenseman in AHL Admirals history and sits three goals behind Dustin Byfuglien's 16-goal season in 2006-07 Norfolk is undefeated in regulation in Charlotte this season with a 3-0-1-0 record at the Time Warner Cable Arena Scratches: Kevin Quick, Levi Nelson, Mitch Fritz, Cedrick Desjardins.