AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-20-12 Monarchs at Admirals Game One

Norfolk pours it on in the second and hangs on in the third to break the seal on their 2012 AHL playoff run.

MCH-2
NOR-3

Norfolk Leads the Series 1-0

Jaroslav Janus allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the victory. He got the surprise start after Dustin Tokarski missed a couple of practices with illness this week. Janus played well up until allowing a very soft goal in the third that gave Manchester life. I would not be completely surprised to see Tic in Game Two.

First Period
NOR Barberio, (1) (Picard), 6:39

Second Period
NOR Picard, (1) (Smith, Conacher), 1:42 (PP)
NOR Smith, (1) (Oberg, Kostka), 3:39 (PP)

Third Period
MCH Legein, (1) (Azevedo), 9:53 (SH)
MCH Cliche, (1) (Hickey, Mullen), 13:57

Alexandre Picard and Trevor Smith were the game's first and second stars.

Really a scary finish for the Admirals, having to fend off a 6-on-4 situation to preserve the win. Hopefully they learned a couple of lessons tonight. They took their foot off the gas at times in the third and paid a price for it. Also, they need to respect their opponent going into a critical Game Two tomorrow. Manchester's not going to lay down.

For those wondering, Radko Gudas also missed practice time this week with illness and was also scratched.

Mike Angelidis returned to the lineup after missing several weeks with a broken finger.

Also, if you were wondering, although the streak is technically shelved, we could call this win number Alex Selivanov.

Tomorrow night's game is really, really big. I'd go so far as to say Norfolk should approach it as a must-win. Knowing the next 3 games are in Manchester, it was very important for them to hold serve tonight, which they did. The other half of the equation is to get it done tomorrow night. And, they can't play like they did tonight. They were flat in the First Period and were only leading thanks to a pretty soft goal allowed by Zatkoff to Barberio. They need to play with the pace they had in the Second Period for a full 60 minutes. They dominated the middle frame and chased Zatkoff, bringing in Martin Jones for Manchester, who played very well. The stakes have been raised, even despite the victory, and I don't think Jon Cooper's going to be terribly pleased with all the tape from tonight's contest.

Box score from TheAHL.com.