Heading into the AHL Calder Cup final against the Toronto Marlies, the Norfolk Admirals were 39-3 since Super Bowl Sunday, including a record 28-game regular-season winning streak. Here and there, some luck was definitely involved.
Their luck hasn't run out quite yet. In Game 3 on Thursday night, during a scoreless game that had reached overtime, defenseman Mike Kostka dumped the puck into the Marlies zone off the glass … and it trickled into an open net for the game-winning goal (s/t SB Nation Tampa Bay):
Marlies netminder Ben Scrivens went behind the net to play the puck, as he had dozens of times in the night. Only this time the puck didn't ring around the glass. It hit a stanchion, bounced out sharply towards the open goal and in. "That's a one in a million thing... I was just hoping it wasn't going in," Scrivens said.
The 8,000 in attendance then sat in stunned silence as the Admirals poured onto the ice to celebrate the 1-0 win that gives them a stranglehold of a 3-0 series lead.
Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins expressed his frustration at not only the loss, but how the winning goal was scored. "I would rather somebody take a pair of steel toed boots and kick me in a delicate region than to lose a hockey game like that. That is a tough way to lose."
By "delicate region," he no doubt means his genitals.
Well, at least it's nice to see stanchions once again playing an active role in a hockey postseason; Kevin Bieska would be proud.
UPDATE: As has been noted in a few places, there were Norfolk players in the attacking zone when the puck crossed the Marlies blue line. From the AHL Rulebook:
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Toronto Marlies
- Norfolk Admirals
- Ben Scrivens