Norfolk scored three times in 6:09 during the latter stages of the second period and held off a late Connecticut flurry to post a 4-3 win in Game 3 of the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinal series in Hartford on Sunday night.
The Admirals take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 on Monday (7:00 ET, AHL Live).
Casey Wellman took advantage of a Norfolk turnover and gave the Whale the lead 5:20 into the first period, but Ondrej Palat answered on a shorthanded breakaway less than three minutes later to tie the score at 1-1.
Andre Deveaux put Connecticut back in front with 2:48 left in the first, redirecting a Marek Hrivik centering pass past Dustin Tokarski. The Whale led 2-1 after one, their first lead at an intermission this series.
Norfolk turned the game in their favor over the second half of the second period, beginning with Alex Killorn‘s power-play goal at 11:31. Trevor Smith deflected a Mark Barberio shot past Cameron Talbot 45 seconds later to give the Admirals a 3-2 lead, and Mike Angelidis scored his first goal of the postseason at 17:40 as Norfolk grabbed a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes.
Wellman’s second goal of the game came during a Connecticut 5-on-3 just 66 seconds into the third period, but the Whale mustered just five shots on goal over the final frame and fell short despite some close calls with Talbot pulled for an extra attacker in the last minute.
Tokarski (4-1) finished with 27 saves in the win; Talbot (4-2) stopped 18 shots in defeat.