MANCHESTER, N.H. – Alex Killorn scored on a rebound 13:27 into overtime as the Norfolk Admirals defeated the Manchester Monarchs, 4-3, on Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena. With the win, Norfolk won the best-of-five Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against Manchester, three games to one, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Connecticut Whale beginning Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Evan Oberg, Mark Barberio and Trevor Smith also scored for the Admirals, who erased 1-0 and 3-1 deficits for the win. Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski (2-0) stopped 22 of 25 shots for the win.
The Monarchs opened scoring just 38 seconds into the contest. A Manchester defenseman caused a turnover in the left corner of the Norfolk zone. Justin Azevedo found the puck in the high slot and sent a slap shot off the crossbar and into the net to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Norfolk knotted the score at 1-1 midway through the second stanza. Oberg sent a shot from the left point through traffic that glanced off Zatkoff. While the goaltender slowed the puck, he did not stop it, as it trickled between his legs and into the net at 7:18.
However, the Monarchs restored their lead exactly four minutes later on a four-on-four play. Brandon Kozun and Patrick Mullen executed a crossover play at the Norfolk blue line, with Kozun dropping a pass to Mullen in the high slot. Mullen skated a few strides toward the net before sending a shot past Tokarski’s glove at 11:18 for a 2-1 Manchester lead.
The Monarchs doubled their lead just over four minutes later with their first power play goal of the series. Thomas Hickey sent a slap shot from the high slot. Andy Andreoff changed the path of the puck from high to low with a deflection from the center slot, and the shot eluded Tokarski at 15:37 for a 3-1 Manchester lead.
However, that lead evaporated less than two minutes later with a pair of Norfolk goals. Cory Conacher set up the visitors’ second goal when he spotted Barberio in the left circle. The AHL’s Outstanding Defenseman waited for a Manchester defender to commit to a block before shuffling to his left in the faceoff circle and sending a wrist shot top-shelf at 16:58.
The Admirals tied the game at 3-3 just 16 seconds later. Smith entered the attacking zone along the right wing with speed. He sent a shot from the right circle that Zatkoff blocked. However, Smith found his own rebound and backhanded a shot past Zatkoff’s left leg at 17:14 for his second goal of the post-season.
The Admirals out-shot the Monarchs, 10-3, in the third period but could not solve Zatkoff as the game required overtime.
Norfolk sustained the pressure in the overtime session, out-shooting Manchester, 9-2, before finding the back of the net with their tenth shot of the extra session. Alexandre Picard sent a shot that Zatkoff stopped. However, Killorn found the rebound in the right circle as traffic was encroaching on Zatkoff. He fired a shot over a prone Zatkoff for his first professional playoff goal and the series-clincher at 17:14.
Jeff Zatkoff (1-1) stopped 35 of 39 shots for the loss.
Both teams were 1-for-5 on the power play.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Admirals and Connecticut Whale will take place on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena at 7:15 p.m. A complete series schedule is available at norfolkadmirals.com.
All playoff games will air on 102.1-FM, 1490-AM, 1021TheGame.com and AHLLive.com.
Playoff tickets are on sale now at the Scope Box Office, any Ticketmaster Outlet, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com. The Scope Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. through 5:30 p.m., or 10:00 a.m. through game time on Admirals game days.
Individual ticket prices for the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs are $21.50 for Gold, $18.50 for Red and $16.50 for White. In addition, 10-seat corporate boxes are available for $310 per game by contacting the Admirals at (757) 640-1212.
Reserve your 2012-13 season tickets with a deposit of as little as $100 per seat today. 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!
1. Alex Killorn – NOR
2. Thomas Hickey – MCH
3. Trevor Smith – NOR