HARTFORD, Conn. – The Norfolk Admirals fell behind 2-0 after two periods and were unable to mount a comeback as they fell to the Connecticut Whale, 4-1, on Monday night at the XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum. With Connecticut’s victory, the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals series is now even at two games apiece.
Richard Panik scored Norfolk’s lone goal in the Admirals’ first road defeat since February 5. Dustin Tokarski (4-2) took the loss after stopping 20 of 23 shots.
The Whale took a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault entered the attacking zone with speed along the left wing. He sent a wrist shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle that went between Tokarski’s legs at 19:05.
Connecticut’s lead doubled early in the second period. Kelsey Tessier sent a shot that Tokarski sent into the left circle with his blocker. Scott Tanski found the rebound near the faceoff dot on his backhand, spun around to his forehand and sent a shot through traffic that eluded Tokarski at 3:56 for a 2-0 Whale lead.
Panik drew the visitors to within a goal of Connecticut 7:42 into the third period. Alex Killorn sent a pass through the neutral zone to Panik, who sped through the left wing of the Connecticut zone. Panik entered the slot and sent a shot over Whale goaltender Cam Talbot for his first professional playoff goal, which cut the Connecticut lead to 2-1.
However, the Whale restored their two-goal lead with less than four minutes remaining in regulation on a two-on-one play. Pavel Valentenko took the puck through the left wing and carried it past a sliding Norfolk defender before sending a pass across the slot. Casey Wellman tapped the feed past the left leg of Tokarski at 16:48.
The Whale iced the victory at 17:51 with a Kris Newbury empty-net goal.
Norfolk was 0-for-6 on the power play while Connecticut was 0-for-4.
Dustin Tokarski (4-2) stopped 20 of 23 shots for the setback. Cameron Talbot (5-2) made 19 saves on 20 shots for the victory.
Game 5 takes place Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. from the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Big Woody’s Bar and Grill will show the game at their Chesapeake Square Mall location. The Chesapeake Square Mall location of Big Woody’s Bar and Grill is located at 4200 Portsmouth Boulevard in Chesapeake, Virginia. All playoff games will air on 102.1-FM, 1490-AM, 1021TheGame.com and AHLLive.com.
Game 6 will take place on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena at 7:30 p.m. 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. Cameron Talbot – CT
2. Scott Tanski – CT
3. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault – CT