Maxime Sauve’s backhander 14:51 into sudden death overtime lifted the Norfolk Admirals to a 1-0 American Hockey League victory over the Manchester Monarchs Wednesday in the Calder Cup quarterfinal series before 3,076 fans at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
Norfolk leads the best-of-five series, two games to one. The series resumes Friday at 7:30 p.m. with Game 4 in Norfolk. If Game 5 is needed to decide the series, it will be played Saturday at 7:15 p.m. in Norfolk.
Sauve collected a puck from linemate Matt Bailey at the bottom of the left wing circle and beat Manchester goalie J.F. Berube with a backhander. Berube finished with 30 saves.
Manchester and Norfolk evenly battled through a scoreless first period with the Monarchs holding a 12-11 edge in shots. Norfolk had the only power play chance in the period, but Manchester almost skated into the intermission break with a lead. A Manchester goal was nullified when referees Darcy Burchell and Tom Chmielewski ruled Monarchs’ forward Michael Mersch interfered with Norfolk goalie John Gibson, who ended with 35 saves.
Manchester dominated the second period, out-shooting the Admirals 15-1 for a 27-12 two-period advantage. Unfortunately, the Monarchs didn’t have anything to show for their effort, despite three chances on the power play.
Manchester got one more chance to score in regulation when forward Zach O’Brien stole the puck from Sauve and was tripped by Jesse Blacker with 4:31 to play. But Manchester couldn’t cash in its fourth power play of the game, leaving the Monarchs 0-for-12 in the series with the man advantage. Manchester was outshot 14-4 in the third period.