TORONTO (theahl.com) … The luckiest of bounces has the Norfolk Admirals one win away from a championship.
Mike Kostka’s dump-in from center ice caromed off a stanchion deep in the Toronto zone and rolled into an open net at 9:09 of overtime, giving Norfolk a 1-0 victory in Game 3 of the 2012 Calder Cup Finals and a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Admirals can capture the 76th American Hockey League title on Saturday afternoon when the Marlies host Game 4 at Ricoh Coliseum (3:00 ET, Sportsnet ONE, CBS Sports Network, ESPN America, NHL Home Ice on Sirius/XM, AHL Live).
The first hockey game ever played in Toronto in June was a tense affair through a scoreless regulation, with the Marlies’ Ben Scrivens and the Admirals’ Dustin Tokarski matching each other save for save. Both teams had three power plays in the opening period, but the first 20 minutes ended without a goal – the first scoreless period of the series, and the end of Norfolk’s streak of 10 consecutive periods scoring at least one goal.
The game remained scoreless through regulation, with the Marlies killing off an Admirals power play in the final minutes of the third period to preserve the tie.
A too-many-men penalty against Norfolk gave Toronto an opportunity with the man advantage 1:12 into overtime, but the Admirals killed it off, improving to 19-for-20 (95.0 percent) in the series.
Scrivens denied Richard Panik on a breakaway 7:30 into the overtime period, but was victimized by the fluke bounce less than two minutes later.
Tokarski finished the night with 21 saves and earned his third shutout of the postseason. Scrivens stopped 30 of 31 shots in the loss.
NOTES: Attendance at sold-out Ricoh Coliseum was 8,084… This was the first Calder Cup Finals game to be scoreless through regulation since 1962, when the Buffalo Bisons defeated the Springfield Indians, 1-0, on an overtime goal by Dave Creighton… The teams are a combined 31-for-33 on the penalty kill in the series.
2012 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
E1-Norfolk Admirals vs. W2-Toronto Marlies
Game 1 – Fri., June 1 – NORFOLK 3, Toronto 1
Game 2 – Sat., June 2 – NORFOLK 4, Toronto 2
Game 3 – Thurs., June 7 – Norfolk 1, TORONTO 0 (OT)
Game 4 – Sat., June 9 – Norfolk at Toronto, 3:00
*Game 5 – Sun., June 10 – Norfolk at Toronto, 3:00
*Game 6 – Wed., June 13 – Toronto at Norfolk, 7:15
*Game 7 – Fri., June 15 – Toronto at Norfolk, 7:30