MANCHESTER, NH — The Norfolk Admirals scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Manchester Monarchs, 3-2, in Game 2 of the 2014 Calder Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
“We had that game moving in the right direction; penalties cost us dearly,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. “We couldn’t seem to find a way to solve (John) Gibson. He was a good goalie tonight. He was the difference.
“We are a young team. We have to learn how to respond. Obviously, when we are playing well together and skating, we can do a lot of damage. We got to regroup quickly and go down there. We got a hell of a task trying to win two-of-three in their building. As you see, they are not a team lacking experience. It will be a challenge for us.”
The Admirals took the lead with just under nine minutes to play in regulation as centerWilliam Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal. Karlsson led a 3-on-2 attack into the Monarchs zone and passed the puck back to forward Nicolas Kerdiles after crossing the blueline. Kerdiles skated down into the left face-off circle and returned the puck back to Karlsson along the left side of the slot. The center wristed a shot toward the right side of Monarchs goaltender J.F. Berube, who managed to get a piece of the puck with his glove, but was unable to keep it from reaching the back of the net. The goal gave Norfolk the 3-2 lead at 11:17 in the final frame of the contest.
Forward Nic Dowd scored the first goal of his professional career with the first score of the game. After pressuring Norfolk netminder John Gibson with shots from center Linden Vey and left wing Andy Andreoff, Dowd was able to scoop up the loose puck in the slot. Dowd wristed a shot from the front of the net and the puck flew past Gibson’s glove and into the top right corner for the net. The goal gave the Monarchs a 1-0 lead at 16:34 of the first period.
Manchester doubled their lead just over a minute later with right wing Zach O’Brien’ssecond goal of the series. From the right face-off circle, forward Nick Shore sent the puck behind the net to right wing Steve Quailer. The forward cycled the puck to the left side of the trapezoid for O’Brien, who skated out in front to the left side of net. O’Brien turned and fired shot which found its way behind Gibson for the score. O’Brien’s second goal in consecutive nights gave the Monarchs a 2-0 lead at 17:51 of the first period of play.
Norfolk got on the scoreboard with a power play goal from forward Max Friberg. A shot from the right face-off circle by center Dave Steckel was turned aside by Berube. Friberg was waiting for the rebound along the left edge of the slot. After gathering the puck, Friberg shot it into the wide open left side of the net before a diving Berube could make the save. The goal cut the Monarchs lead in half at 7:54 of the second period.
The Admirals tied the game moments later when Steckel stuffed the puck into the net just over halfway into the period. As defenseman Steve Eminger was being harassed by a Monarchs defenseman in the right face-off circle, he turned his back to the net and backhanded the puck toward Berube. Steckel reached out his stick before Berube could reach out to cover the puck and was able to jam it under a leg pad and into the back of the net. Steckel’s first goal of the postseason brought the score to a 2-2 tie at 10:56 of the second period.
Berube (1-1) took his first loss of the playoffs, stopping 24-of-27 shots. Gibson (1-1) earned his first victory of the playoffs, making 32 saves on 34 shots he faced in the game.
Manchester was 0-for-4 on the power play. Norfolk went 1-for-1 with the man advantage