Admirals Win Three Straight to Knock Off Manchester
NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk’s Max Sauve scored the game-winner for the second game in a row and Chris Wagner tallied a goal and an assist in a 3-2 series-clinching win over the Manchester Monarchs. Two answers to two Monarch equalizers characterized a resilient final 20 minutes for the Admirals and secured them a spot in the Eastern Conference Semifinals beginning next week.
The Admirals’ John Gibson (3-1-0) made 17 saves behind a thick defense for his third straight victory. Jean-Francois Berube’s (1-3-0) dropped his third in a row in a 19-save losing effort.
Norfolk exploded out of the gate with a redirection from Nic Kerdiles that slid by Berube 3:25 into the game. Rickard Rakell, in his first game with the Admirals since March 16, dropped a pass from along the boards to the left point to Sami Vatanen. Kerdiles deflected Rakell’s shot pass along the ice and past Berube for an early Admirals’ lead.
In the second period, Andy Andreoff knotted the score two seconds after Norfolk defenseman Nolan Yonkman entered the penalty box on a hooking call. Manchester’s Jordan Weal pushed a faceoff draw into the slot and Andreoff wheeled a one-timer over Gibson’s left shoulder. The power-play goal lit the lamp at 15:56 of the middle frame.
The 1-1 count changed early in the third period when Yonkman lined a shot from the blue line. Berube knocked the puck down to his right side and lost track of the loose puck, which Chris Wagner scooped into the empty net behind the Manchester goaltender. Wagner’s marker at 2:12 of the third put Norfolk back in front, 2-1.
Andrew Campbell pulled the Monarchs even just over two minutes later when Weal assisted on another goal by whipping a pass from along the goal line to the far post. Campbell finished off the play behind the defense with a one-time shot up close at the 4:29 mark of the final period to tie it once again.
Six minutes and 20 seconds after Campbell’s goal, Sauve appeared again in clutch time for the second straight game as he screened Berube for an oncoming Wagner. Sauve helped Wagner’s backhander along, deflecting it around Berube and inside the far post for a 3-2 lead that stood for the remaining nine minutes and 11 seconds of regulation. After the Admirals’ third straight victory Friday night over the East’s top seed, Norfolk moves on into the second round of the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Norfolk’s 3-2 win puts an exclamation point on a three-game win streak that ends Manchester’s season and prolongs the Admirals'. It is Norfolk's fifth straight playoff series victory. The Monarchs lost every game they played in at Scope during the 2013-14 season.
Second round tickets will be available for purchase for individual games next week. Visit the Scope Box Office 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.
1. Max Sauve - NOR
2. Chris Wagner - NOR
3. Jordan Weal - MCH