Darren Haydar scored on a scramble 8:54 into overtime to give Milwaukee a 2-1 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday night and a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Calder Cup 2004 Final.
The Admirals can wrap up their first-ever championship with a win in Game 4 on Sunday in Wilkes-Barre.
Haydar’s game-winning goal capped a sequence in which the Admirals had the Penguins pinned in their own zone for nearly a minute. It was Haydar’s ninth goal and 23rd point of the postseason, both tied for the AHL lead.
Andrew Hutchinson opened the scoring 3:01 into the second period as Milwaukee converted on a 5-on-3 advantage for its seventh power-play goal of the series.
In a similar script to Game 1, the Admirals clung to a 1-0 lead until a late Wilkes-Barre goal, this time off the stick of Tomas Surovy with 4:35 remaining in regulation.
Wade Flaherty made 24 saves on the night for his 13th win in his last 15 decisions.
The Admirals’ victory was their sixth in a row overall, their sixth in a row on the road, and their sixth in a row in overtime, the latter tying a single-season AHL record.
Only two teams in AHL history have ever rallied from an 0-3 deficit to win a best-of-seven AHL playoff series, but none in the championship round.