The Norfolk Admirals climbed from a two-goal hole and beat the Manchester Monarchs 3-2 Saturday night in New Hampshire, evening their American Hockey League first-round playoff series.
Having won the first game 2-0 and leading again in Game 2, Manchester seemed in control of the best-of-five clash. Late first-period goals by Nic Dowd and Zach O'Brien, just 77 seconds apart, gave the Los Angeles Kings' top affiliate a 2-0 edge.
But the Admirals bounced back in the second period, finally breaking through against goalie Jean-Francois Berube on a power-play goal by Max Friberg at 7:54 and an even-strength tying goal by veteran Dave Steckel.
With just 8:43 remaining, William Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal. John Gibson, who was in goal for a recent NHL shutout with the Anaheim Ducks before being returned to Norfolk, made half of his 32 saves in the third period to preserve the victory.
The Monarchs, as the higher seed in a series involving long travel -- they were first in the Eastern Conference regular season, while Norfolk was eighth -- had the option of choosing to play Games 1 and 2 at home or to wait for Games 3, 4 and 5.
Manchester chose to open the series at home, and now the Admirals can capitalize on it. They will be home for the rest of the series at Scope Arena, starting Wednesday night.
Pinch-hitter Johnny Monell singled home the winning run in the 11th inning Saturday night as the Norfolk Tides beat the Columbus Clippers 3-2 in a series opener at Harbor Park.
The Clippers, Cleveland's top affiliate, took a 2-0 lead off reliever Troy Patton in the sixth, but the Tides responded with two unearned runs in the seventh.
Norfolk loaded the bases on two walks and a single. With the bases loaded, Cord Phelps reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Ryan Rohlinger, allowing Xavier Paul and Ivan De Jesus to score.
The Tides started the winning rally with Phelps' walk and Henry Urrutia's double. After a groundout and an intentional walk, Monell drove a pitch upthe middle to score Phelps.
Tides starter Kevin Gausman pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings.
Before the game, Baltimore promoted second baseman Jemile Weeks to the major leagues. He has hit .296 (16-for-54) with seven RBI in 17 games with the Tides.
The Richmond Flying Squirrels (12-9) won Game 2 5-2 to earn a split of a doubleheader with the New Britain Rock Cats at The Diamond.
In Game 1, the Rock Cats held on for a 5-4 victory.
In the nightcap, the Squirrels took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, which included Tyler Graham's two-run single.
New Britain scored twice in the top of the sixth inning, but the Squirrels scored twice in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to Mario Lisson's double and reliever Cole Johnson's wild pitch.
In Game 1, trailing 5-1, the Squirrels (11-9) got a three-run homer to left field from Graham in the seventh and final inning. Then Richmond was on the verge of tying the score later in that inning against Minnesota’s Double-A club.
With Brett Krill on third and two outs, Squirrels shortstop Matt Duffy hit a sharp grounder that looked like a potential tying double. But New Britain’s Brandon Waring made a backhanded stop and threw Duffy out at first to end the game.
Veteran Matthew Delicate' scored two goals as the Richmond Kickers defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 5-1 in a USL Pro league game at Beavercreek High in Ohio.
The Kickers improved to 2-1-2, while the Lions fell to 2-2-1.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun