It was certainly a rough-and-tumble game for both the Toronto Marlies and Norfolk Admirals in game one of the Calder Cup Finals. Despite numerous scrums and a handful of penalties, Norfolk was able to hold onto a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-1 win to secure the series advantage.
Carter Ashton scored for Toronto in his first game back after injury – and against his former team, nonetheless. Oh, how sweet. Meanwhile for Norfolk, Cory Conacher, Tyler Johnson and Brandon Segal got on the board.
A scary moment of the evening came in the form of a dangerous hit from the Admirals’ Alexandre Picard. Picard elbowed the head of Jerry D’Amigo, who was down on the ice for a short period of time before making his way to the bench. He returned several minutes later, and no injury update is available yet (though hopefully no update will be needed).
Picard received a two-minute penalty on the play, which seemed to be a bit of a theme for the undisciplined Admirals in game one. The Marlies had an astounding ten power plays, but failed to capitalize on any of them.
Marlies goaltender Ben Scrivens had 39 saves in the loss – Norfolk’s final goal came as an empty netter – but it wasn’t enough. The defense early on had some great blocks, but it wasn’t enough. Ten power plays? Not enough.
The physical play from both teams will prove to key, but even more importantly will be discipline. Tonight’s game was filled with pushing and shoving from both ends, and it’s easy to get goated into silly penalties.
The next game comes in Norfolk on Saturday at 7:15 p.m.